Slice of Life: Heavy Metal Icon And North Pole Honcho Light The Tree At Daley Plaza

2014 Daley Plaza Christmas Tree

Chicago historical archives unfortunately don’t tell us what music accompanied the city’s first city Christmas tree lighting in 1913 on Christmas Eve by Mayor Carter H. Harrison in Grant Park. (For music buffs, the hit song that year was “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”)

However, we will now and forever recognize the song preceding the 2014 lighting of the Big Tree: “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Technically, it was more of a mash-up of the rock classic with “Come All Ye Faithful.”

I’m not making this up. Twisted Sister frontman Daniel “Dee” Snider sang this oddball-yet-infectious tune just before a cadre of city officials and Santa Claus flipped the switch to illuminate a 57-foot-tall Colorado blue spruce Tuesday evening before a huge crowd, the city’s 101st official Christmas tree.

For the record, Bill Haley & The Comets’ “Rock Around The Clock” was the number one song the year 59-year-old Snider was born.

The tree comes courtesy of the Atkinson family from Elgin, Illinois. Snider is in town to perform “Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale” which runs through January 4 at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

2014 Daley Plaza Christmas Tree

Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at

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