For nearly 50 years, fans have long debated one word in the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road.”
While some fans think the words are “Mary’s dress sways,” others have been certain that it’s actually “Mary’s dress waves.” Finally, the lyrical debate has been settled. According to The New Yorker’s David Remnick, Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau has set the record straight.
“The word is ‘sways,'” Landau said. “That’s the way he wrote it in his original notebooks, that’s the way he sang it on Born To Run in 1975, that’s the way he has always sung it at thousands of shows, and that’s the way he sings. It’s right now on Broadway.”
Although people have a different opinion on what they exactly hear, the correct lyrics have always been in the writing. Over the last few weeks, though, a debate has begun to erupt online from those who believe that Mary’s dress, does in fact, “sway” rather than “waves.”
Discussing the lyrical debate further, Landau said: “That’s the way he wrote it in his original notebooks, that’s the way he sang it on ‘Born to Run,’ in 1975, that’s the way he has always sung it at thousands of shows, and that’s the way he sings it right now on Broadway.”
Bruce Springsteen’s Manager Settles ‘Thunder Road’ Debate
Even artists who’ve covered the song over the years said they’d always sung “waves.” Melissa Etheridge, who sang it as a duet with Springsteen on “MTV Unplugged,” once told the New York Times she previously discussed the lyrics with him and said, “he would’ve told me if it wasn’t ‘waves.’ He would’ve said, ‘You’re singing it wrong, honey.’ So it’s definitely ‘waves.'”
Even country star Eric Church has an opinion on the matter. Church, who’s often covered Springsteen’s tunes, believes that” ‘Sways’ is sexier.” Currently, Springsteen’s team had declined to comment on the subject, making us think that maybe the man himself wants it to remain a mystery.
However, after Remnick got somewhat of an answer, maybe the debate is no longer blowin’ (or swayin’? ) in the wind.
As for getting back on the road, Springsteen recently revealed that he hopes to resume touring next year. While the American icon is currently continuing with his solo Broadway residency at the St. James Theatre in New York, he previously stated that he wouldn’t be touring in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.
During an interview with BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball on July 14, Bruce Springsteen noted that he is now hoping to restart touring in 2022.
“We’ll be touring next year if everything goes well,” he told Ball. “The E Street Band will be back on the road – you know, depending, of course, on the virus and what’s opening up.”