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We're Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister song)

"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.

"We're Not Gonna Take It"
Were Not Gonna Take It.jpg
Single by Twisted Sister
from the album Stay Hungry
B-side"You Can't Stop Rock & Roll"
ReleasedApril 27, 1984
Format7" Single
RecordedJanuary 1, 1984
Songwriter(s)Dee Snider
Producer(s)Tom Werman
Twisted Sister singles chronology
"You Can't Stop Rock & Roll"
"We're Not Gonna Take It"
"I Wanna Rock"

"We're Not Gonna Take It" was written by vocalist Dee Snider. As influences for the song, he cites the glam rock band Slade and the Christmas carol "O Come, All Ye Faithful".[4][5]

Music videoEdit

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").

Ballad versionEdit

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."[6] 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.[7]

Notable cover versionsEdit

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 which also became David Arquette's entrance theme while he appeared on WCW programing, and by Powerman 5000 for their tribute album Copies, Clones, and Replicants.

Parodies and use in advertisingEdit

  • 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.[8]
  • The song is used in a commercial for hotel chain Extended Stay America.
  • Spanish heavy metal band Gigatrón released a version of this song with different Spanish lyrics titled "Heavy hasta la muerte",[9] 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.[10][11]

In the TV series Chuck, in the episode Chuck Versus the First Kill, the song plays in the background of a battle between Fulcrum agents and the Sarah/Jill duo.[12]

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.[13] Newsweek reports Dee Snider of Twisted Sister gave Trump permission to use the song.[14] 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.[15]

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.

The song also appears in the Young Sheldon episode 15 called Dolomite, Apple Slices, and a Mystery Woman.[16]

A cover version of the song is played during the credits sequence of the 2017 video game Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

During the 2018 teachers' strikes in the United States, the song was used as a rallying cry by teachers striking in Oklahoma[17] and Arizona.[18]

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.[19] 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".[20]

Charts and certificationsEdit


  1. ^ "Twisted Sister: Biography". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 28, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  2. ^ Popoff, Martin (2014). The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade. Voyageur Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-76034-546-7.
  3. ^ "50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. October 13, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2019. ...and genuinely ebullient pop-metal MTV anthems like 'We're Not Gonna Take It' and 'I Wanna Rock,'
  4. ^ Snider, Dee (2013). Shut Up and Give Me the Mic. Simon & Schuster. pp. 236–237. ISBN 978-1451637403.
  5. ^ Kris Vire (November 2, 2014). "Dee Snider on his Rock & Roll Christmas Tale". Timeout. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  6. ^ "See Dee Snider Turn 'We're Not Gonna Take It' Into Piano Ballad". Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  7. ^ Legends Playing League (August 23, 2016). "Dee Snider's Emotional Stripped Down Version of "We're Not Gonna Take It"". Retrieved February 7, 2018 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ José M PM (June 19, 2006). "Huevos con Aceite! - Twisted Sister". Retrieved February 7, 2018 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Heavy hasta la muerte". Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  10. ^ "DEE SNIDER TO PAUL RYAN: STOP PLAYING MY SONG". AP. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  11. ^ Dee Snider äußert seinen Unmut gegenüber Paul Ryan.
  12. ^ "Chuck Versus the First Kill - Soundtracks". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "Trump Fight Song". Youtube.
  14. ^ Schonfeld, Zach (September 8, 2015). "Dee Snider on Why Donald Trump Can Use 'We're Not Gonna Take It'". Newsweek.
  15. ^ "TWISTED SISTER's DEE SNIDER: Why I Asked DONALD TRUMP To Stop Using 'We're Not Gonna Take It'". June 1, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Video of Oklahoma band teachers performing "We're Not Gonna Take It" at Capitol is going viral". April 3, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Koslowski, Max (January 2, 2019). "'We're not gonna take it': Twisted Sister accuses Clive Palmer of using famed anthem in political ads". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  20. ^ "Clive Palmer Calls For Twisted Sister Singer Dee Snider's Australian Tour To Be Cancelled". Music Feeds. January 8, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  21. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 71. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between 1983 and 19 June 1988.
  22. ^ "Canadian peak". Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  23. ^ " – Twisted Sister – We're Not Gonna Take it". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  24. ^ " – Twisted Sister – We're Not Gonna Take it". Singles Top 100. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  25. ^ a b "Stay Hungry – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  26. ^ " - Forum - 1984 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts". January 5, 1985. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  27. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1984". RPM. January 5, 1985. Archived from the original on May 9, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2015.

External linksEdit