Dee Snider Explains How Celine Dion Paid for His House
Dee Snider had only one request when producer Ric Wake called asking if Celine Dion could cover a Christmas song composed by the Twisted Sister frontman as a private gift for his wife.
"The first thing I said was, 'Does she know who wrote it?'" Snider says on the Talk is Jericho podcast. "He said, 'I didn't tell her yet.' And I said, 'Do not tell her Satan wrote a Christmas song!' He said, "Seriously?' I said, 'Seriously, dude. Just put it on the frigging album.'"
And so, after a quick name change to "The Magic of Christmas Day," this insane meeting of pop-culture figures was completed. Snider had no problem with Dion's title switch, either. "I don't care if she calls it 'This Song Is a Pile of Dog Shit.' Just put it on her album! Eight million copies later, then it was Rosie O'Donnell's Christmas album and sold another two million. We call our house the House that St. Celine built!"
How all of this came to happen is a story full of as many twists and turns as any Christmas Eve journey by old Kris Kringle.
"My wife, in the height of my metal headedness, said, 'Write me a Christmas song?' And I said, 'Are you insane?,'" Snider remembers. She convinced him, however, by reminding Snider that he was a classically trained counter-tenor. After some thought, Snider says inspiration struck -- but the song was as far from what he had been doing with Twisted Sister as it could be. In fact, "I can't even sing it," he admits. "It's out of my range."
That, in a weird happenstance, connected the song with Dion. Snider was forced to hire a group of singers to interpret the track, then called "God Bless Us Everyone," so that he could gift it to his wife. One of the engineers on that initial demo was Ric Wake, who later became a Grammy-winning producer for a number of artists, including Celine Dion.
Snider included the track in his stage production Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale. It originally appeared on Celine Dion's 1998 album 'These Are Special Times.' So did Dion ever find out who her secret songwriting Santa was? "I heard that she found out years later," Sinder explains, "and was very confused."
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