Wrapped Up Like A What?

I heard Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded By the Light” three separate times in three different places yesterday. It launched me into a discussion about the garbled lyrics in Mann’s cover.

In case you don’t know what I am talking about, the Boss wrote the song in 1973 for the album “Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ.”

The original chorus goes like this:

And she was blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
She got down but she never got tight, but she’ll make it alright

The portion in question is, “Cut loose like a deuce.”as in a 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe hotrod – Slightly cryptic, but it makes sense, right? Just as the Boss intended.


Then in 1976, Mann decided to cover the song and it landed at #1 on the Hot 100… with a small change to the lyrics.

Mann allegedly sings, “Revved up like a deuce” in place of the original lyrics. However, many people hear him sing, “Wrapped up like a douche.”

I’ve been listening to this song since I was a little kid and even before I knew what a douche was, that’s what I thought he was saying. Listening to the song three times yesterday, I am still hearing douche.

Even in this live version, from 1976, he clearly says “revved up” but I am fairly certain he is singing “douche.”

Anyone else care to weigh in?

9 thoughts on “Wrapped Up Like A What?

  1. Great post…one of the supreme mysteries of our day!

    I tried to find Springsteen on VH1’s Storytellers from a couple of years ago where he talks about this song. How it was never a hit for him, but with Manfred Man..and their supposed lyric change….it became a top hit. He mentioned out Manfred Man’s fans had more of a sense of humor, apparently, than his fans (I’m paraphrasing.)

    He absolutely did mean a Deuce Coup a la Jan and Dean’s Lil Deuce Coup, a hot-rod of sorts. Of course, Bruce often featured cars and racing in many of his songs.

    Regarding another song, little known fact: Bruce originally wrote FIRE for Elvis Presley and sent it to him just weeks before his death. It was later given to the Pointer Sisters who released it on their 1978 album Energy.

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