Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider doesn’t come across as a warm and fuzzy type. But 30 years ago, he penned the holiday song “The Magic of Christmas Day (God Bless Us Everyone)” for his wife, Suzette.
The tune was later recorded by Celine Dion, who made it a smash.
Accompanied by Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, Snider is hoping to do the same. Their rock rendition features bells, rowdy riffs and the two iconic vocalists playing off one another.
“The Magic of Christmas Day” goes beyond just one song for Snider.
“My wife is very influential,” he says. “I don’t know what possessed her. She’s a bit of a white witch. She said, ‘Write me a Christmas song.’ I said, ‘I’m a heavy metal guy. What are you? Crazy?’”
He said that even though he’s a classically trained countertenor, he couldn’t do it immediately.
“Then, this idea came to my head,” Snider adds. “I couldn’t even sing it in full range. I had to bring in session singers. That was it. It was one song I never wrote for commercial release.”
Five or so years later, Snider was in a recording session when he was told Dion wanted to record “The Magic of Christmas Day.” His response was natural.
“‘Does she know who wrote it? Don’t tell her Satan wrote a Christmas song,’” he recalls with a laugh.
“I was at a low point in my career, financially. It became one of the biggest-selling holiday records in history.”
Snider decided to rerecord it because of the pandemic and the election tearing the world—and families—apart. He just needed a woman with whom to duet. The answer was Hale.
“The song itself is melodic,” he says. “The middle section is like ‘and the rockets’ red glare’ in ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ I couldn’t hit the high notes. I was drawn to having somebody newer and younger who had the fire.
“I’m not saying my fire is out. It is not. It didn’t hurt to have a yule log under (me). Lzzy went in the studio. I sent her an email and said, ‘(Expletive) you.’”
Hale wondered what was wrong.
“I said, ‘Oh, no no. I’m from New York. That’s the highest compliment you can get,’” Snider says. “That girl just roasted me. I went back in the studio and rerecorded my vocals. My first pass wasn’t good enough. She outsang me on it, but I wrote it. I get extra points.”
Hale is just as enamored with Snider.
“If you’re ever, in your life, going to go full-on, all-gas, no-breaks Christmas cheer, you do it Dee Snider style,” Hale says.
“I was so honored to get the call from Dee on this holiday classic. We rediscovered our respect and admiration for each other’s talent. The final recording, produced by Jeff Pilson, is insanely epic.”
Snider is, admittedly, a Christmas junkie, which is part of the reason why Suzette asked him to pen the tune. He calls his holiday decorations “so elaborate, involved and epic.”
“It looks like Macy’s,” he says.
Perhaps the most striking part of his holiday addiction is what he did for his children. He kept a holiday journal every year. When his kids were moving out of the house either to attend college or to be on their own, he gave them each one.
“I took the journals and bound them in red leather and gold leaf trim pages,” he says. “‘The Magic of Christmas’ was written in old English writing. I presented it to each of them on the last year we shared the big house together. Some of them were crying. It was a pretty powerful moment and a way to end an epic Christmas (run).”
“The Magic of Christmas”