The lyrics Bruce Springsteen has been singing incorrectly for decades

One of the definitive voices of American popular music is Bruce Springsteen, an artist who rose to prominence in the 1970s, becoming a pioneer of heartland rock. By channelling social observations about working-class life into accessible rock songs, Springsteen’s music has earned him widespread success and respect.

Like many musicians, Bruce Springsteen was inspired to make music after witnessing The Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show as a teenager. Within a few years, Springsteen had devoted himself to the art form, joining various bands over the next decade, including The Castiles, Earth, Child, Zoom & the Sonic Boom and the Sundance Blues Band.

Discussing the Fab Four’s influence, Springsteen once said: “This was different, shifted the lay of the land. Four guys, playing and singing, writing their own material. […] Rock’ n’ roll came to my house where there seemed to be no way out […] and opened up a whole world of possibilities.”

After honing his craft for several years, Springsteen released his debut album, Greetings of Asbury Park, N.J., in 1973, accompanied by his E Street Band. Although it was critically praised, the record failed to achieve much commercial success, with the same happening to his second album, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle.

However, Springsteen finally broke into the mainstream with his third album, Born to Run, with hits from the record regularly playing on American radio. Over the coming years, the musician continued to build his star status through extensive touring, playing for several hours at each show.

Springsteen has continued to perform lengthy concerts throughout his career, ensuring that fans have the chance to hear all of his biggest hits. One song Springsteen frequently plays is the Born to Run opener, ‘Thunder Road’, which remains one of his most beloved numbers. However, there has long been debate over the song’s opening lines.

While some people believe the lyrics are “A screen door slams/Mary’s dress sways”, others remain adamant that Springsteen sings, “A screen door slams/Mary’s dress waves“. Therefore, during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Springsteen decided to settle the debate, only to discover that he had been singing the ‘wrong’ lyrics during live renditions of the song.

“I knew you were going to ask this question, so I came prepared,” he joked before whipping out an original pressing of Born to Run. To his surprise, he discovered that the lyrics printed on the sleeve were not the ones he’s been singing for decades. “‘I’ve been singing ‘sways’ for almost 50 years. ‘The screen door slams/Mary’s dress waves!”

He continued: “This is wrong. I’m telling you this is wrong. How did that happen?”

Subsequently, Springsteen concluded that the only possible explanation would be a printing error, even though “50 years ago, I was a sociopath”.

He continued: “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.”

Revisit his classic song below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *