After 46 Years, It’s Finally Official: In Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” Mary’s Dress “sways”

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Submitted by karajayne on Mon, 07/19/2021 - 12:16

After 46 Years, It’s Finally Official: In Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” Mary’s Dress “sways”

Posted 19 Jul 2021
bruce springsteen
Bruce Springsteen. Photo by Gie Knaeps/Getty Images.

Bruce Springsteen’s manager and close collaborator, Jon Landau has finally settled a debate that has for a long time divided fans of the rock legend.

It’s official, Mary’s dress “sways.”

For many years, there has been hot debate over the lyrics to “Thunder Road” from Springsteen’s classic 1975 album Born To Run, which as NME notes, is fueled largely by the fact that the song lyrics on the original vinyl pressing read: “The screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves.” 

This is backed up by the official Springsteen website, and Springsteen’s 1991 book, Songs where you will find the lyric listed as “waves”.

However, in Springsteen’s 2016 Thunder Road memoir he uses the word “sways” instead, which is what many fans insist has always been the case during live performances; hence the confusion! 

After a recent tweet by the New York Times's Maggie Haberman divided the internet with the caption, “A [sic] screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways” (see here), The New Yorker’s  David Remnick decided to reach out to the Boss’ longtime close collaborator, in matters musical and business, Jon Landau for an official stance. 

“The word is ‘sways’,” Landau wrote. 

“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,” he continued. “Any typos in official Bruce material will be corrected.” 

To be sure there was absolutely no confusion, Landau closed with, “And, by the way, ‘dresses’ do not know how to ‘wave.’”

Check it out for yourself below! 

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band | “Thunder Road”

Landau was true to his word, since his conversation with Remnick, the official Springsteen website has been updated with the lyric "sways".

While it's not quite a confirmation from the Boss himself, you could say Landau is the next best thing. As one of rock legend’s closest collaborators, he served as co-producer on 1975’s Born To Run when the track was first recorded. 

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