As it is wont to do, Twitter hosted a series of impassioned responses from some people arguing that the line was actually “waves” while others insisted that Haberman was right and it was “sways.” As it turns out, the answer has varied even when it comes from Springsteen. As reported by The New Yorker, it’s “waves” in more than one official source, but in his memoir, “Born To Run,” Springsteen wrote the line with “sways,” just as he did in some handwritten lyrics that were auctioned off by Sotheby’s auction house years ago.
As he wrote up the conundrum, New Yorker writer David Remnick decided to get as close to the source as possible and wrote to longtime Springsteen collaborator Jon Landau for the real scoop, noting “Short of Springsteen himself, no one could answer the question more definitively than Landau.” Much to the presumed delight of Maggie Haberman and all Twitter denizens who agreed with her, Landau wrote back “The word is ‘sways.'” Landau went on to elaborate: “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.'” Great point.