It’s my favorite song of all time, and I sing along with it every time I hear it.
In fact, one of my blog posts features the one and only solo singing performance of my life. In case you missed it (it’s from 2017, so most readers have not seen it), here it is again:
If that doesn’t make you feel better about yourself, I don’t know what will…
Anyway, I never knew that in the nearly 50 years I have been singing the song. I had part of the lyrics wrong.
I sang the first line with these words:
The screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves
In my mind, I could picture Mary opening the screen door and see her dress fluttering in the wind. For me, it was an iconic image.
Well as it turns out, one of those words, the bolded one, is incorrect.
But I was not alone in my error.
In fact, on both Springsteen’s official Web site and in his songbook, the word is/was “waves.”
But New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who recently attended Springsteen’s newly reopened Broadway show tweeted the following, and started a furious national debate:
Was the word “waves” or was it “sways”?
After much back and forth on Twitter, New Yorker editor David Remnick entered the debate by emailing longtime Springsteen collaborator and manager Jon Landau, co-producer of “Born to Run.”
“Short of Springsteen himself, no one could answer the question more definitively than Landau,” Remnick wrote.
The word is ‘sways,’ ” Landau wrote back. “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. Any typos in official Bruce material will be corrected. And, by the way, ‘dresses’ do not know how to ‘wave.’ “
And here is some pretty good proof, the handwritten lyrics from Springsteen’s original notebook which Landau mentions. The handwritten lyrics were auctioned off a couple of years ago by Sotheby’s for $62,500.
So now everything is all right with the world, and all errors have been corrected.
But don’t worry; I have no plans to redo my video with the correct lyrics…
And let me leave you with a classic version of this classic song