Bruce Springsteen’s "Thunder Road" lyrics will be edited after 46 years

Publish Date
Tuesday, 20 July 2021, 12:41PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

A major Bruce Springsteen mystery has been solved this week.

In case you missed it, a debate has been raging on social media over the past few weeks about the opening lyric of Springsteen's classic hit 'Thunder Road.' The track, of course, is the first song on The Boss's 1975 album Born To Run and a favorite of many fans. Those fans have been debating whether Springsteen sings "waves" or "sways" in that first line.

According to the official versions of the song’s lyrics, such as the original 1975 vinyl pressing and Springsteen’s official website, the opening line of 'Thunder Road' is as follows: “The screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves.” Other fans, though, believe Springsteen has only ever sung the line as: “The screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways.”

As the debate continued to rage on, New Yorker editor David Remnick personally reached out to Springsteen's longtime manager and Born to Run co-producer Jon Landau for answers. “The word is ‘sways'” Landau confirmed, adding that “any typos in official Bruce material will be corrected.” Since then, the official ‘Thunder Road’ lyrics on Springsteen’s website have been edited from “waves” to “sways."

“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," Landau continued.

What do you prefer—waves or sways?

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission