Bruce Springsteen ends 50-year ‘Thunder Road’ lyric debate

Bruce Springsteen has finally put an end to the debate about his lyrics on his 1975 single, ‘Thunder Road’.

  • READ MORE: Bruce Springsteen – ‘Only The Strong Survive’ review: a joyful ode to the greatest soul songs

Springsteen’s fans have been confused by the opening lyric on ‘Thunder Road’ for quite some time, with many debating whether or not he sings ‘sways’ or ‘waves’.

Some sources have quoted Springsteen as saying “the screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways”, while other sources read “the screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves”.


Appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday (November 15), Springsteen addressed the lyric in an attempt to settle the debate.

“This record is almost 50 years old,” Springsteen said while holding an original copy of the record. “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. The lyrics to ‘Thunder Road’ are in this album. The correct lyrics.”

He goes on to read the lyrics from the album which reads ‘waves’, before joking that the lyrics had been printed wrong.

“This is wrong, this is wrong. I’m telling you this is wrong – how did that happen?” he laughed. He also admitted to singing “‘sways’ for almost 50 years”.

Watch Springsteen address the opening lyric to ‘Thunder Road’ in the video below.


As well as sitting down for a conversation with Jimmy Fallon, Springsteen also performed his version of Frank Wilson’s ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)”, taken from his new album  ‘Only The Strong Survive’ which came out last Friday (November 11). The project is a compilation of soul covers and received a four-star review from NME.

“Not only does it shine a light on what inspires one of the greatest living American songwriters, it also works to preserve the greats of the past and ensures that the best music and stories continue to survive,” the review reads.

Bruce Springsteen is set to make his third and final appearance of the week on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon this evening (November 16), before returning to the show for a special Thanksgiving edition later this month.

He’s set to tour UK, Europe and North America with E Street Band next year.