Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is one of the most famous heavy metal songs of the 1980s, however, it’s roots are in a completely different genre. Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider said the track borrows elements from a well-known Christmas carol. Here’s a look at the connections between We’re Not Gonna Take It” and Christmas.
How Twisted Sister unintentionally drew inspiration from a Christmas carol while writing ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’
During an interview Goldmine Magazine’s asked Snider if he got his start singing in a church choir. “Yes,” he said. “I sang in the church choir until I was 19 years old. I was a classically trained countertenor as well.”
Afterward, Snider explained the influence his time in a church choir had on him. “In the 1990s, a guitar player friend of mine pointed out that ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ had borrowed some of its melody from ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful.’ So the years of singing in the church choir finally paid off! Besides, obviously the spiritual awakening.”
How the world reacted to Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It’
“We’re Not Gonna Take” reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains Twisted Sister’s biggest hit. Their only other charting songs were “I Wanna Rock,” which reached No. 68, and their cover of The Shangri-Las’ “Leader of the Pack,” which reached No. 53.
The music video for the song is famous as well. It features Mark Metcalf playing a role similar to his role from Animal House. In addition, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”’s parent album, Stay Hungry, reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200, becoming the band’s only album to reach the top 20.
Twisted Sister created a version of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ inspired by ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’
The connection between “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful ” goes beyond the similarities. In 2006, the band released A Twisted Christmas. The album features a number of covers of Yuletide classics, including “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” According to Blabbermouth, their version of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is designed to sound like “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Snider said it was actually rather difficult to get the two songs to gel together in a mashup despite their similarities.
Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French discussed the initial reaction to A Twisted Christmas. “The Christmas album came out… of course, that song was a big hit and got us on The Jay Leno Show and Craig Ferguson show and [Live! With] Regis And Kelly, and it got a lot of media coverage, when we were told that we were gonna suck and the album was gonna bomb.”
However, French said A Twisted Christmas became very successful for a heavy metal Christmas album. The album reached No. 147 on the Billboard 200. “O Come, All Ye Faithful” had a massive impact on Twisted Sister, whether they were drawing inspiration from it or covering it.
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