Twisted Sister — We’re Not Gonna Take it [Extended Version] OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” is a song by the American band Twisted Sister from their album Stay Hungry. It was first released as a single (with “You Can’t Stop Rock & Roll” as the B-side) on April 27, 1984. The Stay Hungry album was released two weeks later, on May 10, 1984. The single reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, making it Twisted Sister’s only Top 40 single. The song was ranked No. 47 on 100 Greatest 80’s Songs and No. 20 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s. The single has been certificated gold in US since 1984, selling more than 500,000 copies.
The song is notable for its popular music video directed by Marty Callner, with its emphasis on slapstick comedy. The video begins with a disobedient son (played by Marty’s son, Dax Callner) playing Twisted Sister songs in his bedroom while the rest of the family is eating dinner. The father, “Douglas C.” (played by Mark Metcalf), goes to the boy’s bedroom and scolds his son for being interested only in his guitar and Twisted Sister music. At the last line of the father’s rather overlong speech, he says “What do you want to do with your life?”, to which the son replies “I Wanna Rock!” with a voice strikingly similar to that of director Marty Callner, after which he strums his guitar and causes a blast so powerful it knocks the father out of a nearby window. The boy then transforms into Twister Sister lead singer Dee Snider, and the music begins. Snider sings to the other children, who turn into the rest of the band, and they wreak havoc on the family. The father gets the worst of the band’s mischief, as he repeatedly tries and fails to get back at the band members. The end of the song pays tribute to Metcalf’s character Douglas C. Niedermeyer from the 1978 film Animal House (i.e., “Drop and give me 20”, “You’re all worthless and weak”).
In 2016, Dee Snider gave magician Criss Angel the rights to use the song as an “anthem” for his HELP (Heal Every Life Possible) charity. “Dee and I have known each other since the 1990s and he was a strong proponent of mine for years. We are both from Long Island, or as we like to think of it, ‘Strong Island,’ and his record publishing company gave me the rights to the song and it is our anthem for gratis.” Snider appeared in a video of a stripped down acoustic version for the charity, recorded in the desert outside Las Vegas and featuring children in hospital and a young woman shaving her head to symbolize fighting cancer.
Notable cover versions
The song has been covered by various artists including German pop punk band Donots in 2002 (which became a minor hit in Germany, reaching 33 in the Singles Chart). It was also covered by Bif Naked for the film Ready To Rumble and by Powerman 5000 for their tribute album Copies, Clones, and Replicants.
- American singer “Weird Al” Yankovic included a short stylized version of the song in his “Hooked on Polkas” medley from Dare to Be Stupid.
- American ska punk band Reel Big Fish used the melody to the song as part of their song “Everybody’s Drunk” with lyrics altered to be: “We’re all gonna get drunk! We’re all gonna get drunk! Oh wait we’re already drunk!”
- In 1999, the US rock band Lit parodied the opening scene in their video for “Zip-Lock“.
- In a Primavera commercial in Spain, there was a parody named “Huevos con Aceite” with the lyrics: Huevos con aceite, oh no, ya no queremos, ahora con Primavera, desayunarán (Eggs with oil, no. We don’t want them. Now with Primavera butter, you’ll take your breakfast). Twisted Sister has sung “Huevos con Aceite” when giving concerts in Spanish-speaking regions.
- This song is used for a hotel chain called Extended Stay America as a TV commercial.
- Spanish heavy metal band Gigatrón released a version of this song with different Spanish lyrics titled “Heavy hasta la muerte”, as a parody of being a true metal fan.
- ApologetiX, a Christian Parody band, released the song “We’re Not Going To Canaan” on their 2014 release “Loaded 45’s”.
- Veritas Technologies uses the song in their 2016 commercials, as does Comcast for its Xfinity service, the parody song is called “You’re Not Gonna Watch It”. At the end of the Xfinity commercial, Snider is shown joking, “I used to like that song.”
- Australian politician Clive Palmer used a parody of the song in his 2018 political campaign titled “Australia Ain’t Gonna Cop It”.
The song was used in the commercials for the 2006 movie Charlotte’s Web. VH-1‘s series True Spin explains the song as simply an anthem of teen rebellion, but Snider appeared saying that he was happy that long after he’s gone, “any time that the team is down by two, or somebody had a bad day at the office, they’re gonna stand up and sing We’re Not Gonna Take It“. It was also used in 1986 Ron Howard movie Gung Ho.
The song was part of the intro for liberal radio talk host Stephanie Miller until the 2008 election of Barack Obama, when it was replaced by “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. The song was sung by the characters Mordecai and Rigby in the Regular Show episode “Karaoke Video”. The song is the theme song of the American reality comedy television series Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.
2012 Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan‘s camp used the song in their campaign, until Snider asked Ryan not to play it anymore; Snider stated that he does not support Ryan and he planned on voting for Obama.
In the summer of 2015, the song was adopted as the theme song for Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign. The song is played after all his campaign appearances where it is known unofficially as the Trump fight song. Newsweek reports Dee Snider of Twisted Sister gave Trump permission to use the song. Snider later changed his mind saying that he had only allowed Trump to use the song because the two were friends, but then respectfully asked Trump to stop using it as he did not agree with many of Trump’s stances. Snider did not want people to get the impression that he was endorsing Trump or his campaign.
The song also appears in the episode 6 of season 5 of the TV series Person of Interest, where it’s sung by Harold Finch during a wedding. The song was used in two TV spots of the 2015 film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The song is featured in the classic 2001 Disney motion picture Max Keeble’s Big Move. The song was also used in the teaser trailer of the 2016 film, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, and it’s also featured in the 2018 science fiction film Ready Player One.
A cover version of the song is played during the credits sequence of the 2017 video game Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.
In Australia, the United Australia Party has used the chorus of the song, with lyrics altered to “Australia ain’t gonna cop it”, in a national TV campaign ahead of the 2019 elections. Twisted Sister condemned the unauthorized use of the song and are exploring legal options after the party has failed to desist after being advised to do so. Clive Palmer disputes Twisted Sister’s claim that they have any copyright over the portion of the song used in the advertisements, and states that the lyrics were composed by him and that the melody was derived from “O Come, All Ye Faithful”.
Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock (Official Video)
Like the earlier “We’re Not Gonna Take It“, the video features actor Mark Metcalf, best known as the abusive ROTC leader Douglas C. Neidermeyer from the movie National Lampoon’s Animal House. Here, he plays a teacher with a similar personality to Neidermeyer, who harasses a student for drawing the Twisted Sister logo on his notebook. He chastises the student by shouting “What kind of a man desecrates a defenseless textbook?! I’ve got a good mind to slap your fat face!”, which echoes a line from Animal House: “What kind of man hits a defenseless animal [a misbehaving horse]? I’ve got a good mind to smash your fat face in!”
Metcalf’s character reprises his question from the “We’re Not Gonna Take It” video, “What do you want to do with your life?!” This provides a lead-in for the track, as the student answers with the first line of the song, “I wanna rock!“, after which he and four of his classmates are instantly transformed into Twisted Sister’s five members. After the vicious teacher’s repeated attempts to stop his rock-loving students not only fail but also backfire on him, he crawls into the principal’s office, only to be confronted by the principal, played by Stephen Furst, who played Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in Animal House, alongside Metcalf. Furst reprises one of his lines from the movie: “Oh boy, is this great!”, before he sprays water from a seltzer bottle at the teacher.