The heated debate over Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” lyrics and the movement of Mary’s dress in the classic song is officially over.
The fireworks aptly started shortly before Independence Day when New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman tweeted the widely accepted and much-lauded “Thunder Road” opening text of Springsteen’s groundbreaking 1975 album “Born to Run”.
“A screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways,” wrote Haberman with a picture of the empty stage in front of a “Springsteen on Broadway” performance. That led to a number of Twitter commenters saying that Haberman was blinded by the light and that the text was “ripples” rather than “fluctuations”.
The Los Angeles Times investigated the “waves” / “vibrations” controversy and found, “Springsteen is not one of the great heralds of rock, and since” dress “ends in a sibilant,” suh-ways “is difficult for suh- Waves.’ So the subject is up for debate, right? ”
E-Street guitarist and longtime collaborator Stevie Van Zandt didn’t touch the topic and told a Twitter questioner, “Oy vey! Get this Bruce lyric (expletive) off my feed!”
Springsteen was mom on the matter, but the word is called “waves” on his official website and in his songbook. However, Springsteen uses “Sways” on page 220 of his “Born To Run” memoirs and in his handwritten texts, which Sotheby’s auctioned in 2018.
New York editor David Remnick entered the debate and ended the debate by emailing longtime Springsteen employee and manager Jon Landau, co-producer of Born to Run.
“Shortly after Springsteen himself, nobody could answer the question more definitely than Landau,” wrote Remnick in an article published on Saturday.
“The word is ‘swing'”, Landau wrote back. “This is how he wrote it in his original notebooks, this is how he sang it on Born to Run in 1975, this is how he sang it on thousands of shows, and this is how he sings it now” on Broadway. All typos in official Bruce material will be corrected. And by the way, “clothes” don’t know how to “wave”. “