Bruce Springsteen settles 47 year debate over song lyrics

Bruce Springsteen performs a tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis during the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Bruce Springsteen has confirmed the correct lyrics to Thunder Road. (AP)

Bruce Springsteen has confirmed the correct lyrics to his his Thunder Road after a 47 year argument among fans.

The 73-year-old rock star's 1975 hit opens with the line "The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves", according to the lyrics printed in the original vinyl LP sleeve.

But Springsteen has confirmed what many fans have argued for years - that he sings the line "Mary's dress sways".

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The Born To Run rocker told The Tonight Show by host Jimmy Fallon: "This record is almost 50-years-old. Fifty years ago, I was a sociopath. I was insane about every single detail that had anything to do with music: my album, my album cover, my lyrics.

“I went over everything with a fine tooth comb so everything would be perfect and completely accurate.”

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17:  Bruce Springsteen Visits
Bruce Springsteen told Jimmy Fallon the lyrics were printed wrong on the vinyl sleeve. (Getty Images for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

Holding up the original LP sleeve Springsteen said: “This is wrong, this is wrong. I’m telling you this is wrong – how did that happen?”

The debate over the lyrics was reignited on social media in 2021 when two copies of handwritten lyrics went up for auction, one saying “sways” and the other “waves”.

Springsteen’s 2016 autobiography Born to Run uses the word “sways” but his official website previously stated “waves”. It has now been corrected.

Jon Landau, Springsteen’s manager and co-producer on Born to Run, said last year that the lyric was “sways” and that “any typos in official Bruce material will be corrected”.

He added: “That’s the way he wrote it in his original notebooks."

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1745 -- Pictured: Musical guest Bruce Springsteen performs on Monday, November 14, 2022 -- (Photo by: Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images)
Bruce Springsteen said he's always sung "sways". (NBC via Getty Images)

Thunder Road is the opening track on Born to Run, Springsteen’s third album, released in 1975, and having sold over seven million copies in the US.

Springsteen is set to play four dates across Britain in 2023, his first full tour with the E Street Band since 2017.

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Among the dates are two performances at BST Hyde Park on 6 and 8 July. Springsteen will also perform at Villa Park in Birmingham and Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

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