A Christmas Duel

Album: Single Release Only (2008)
  • songfacts ®
  • This Christmas duet by the Swedish rock band The Hives and American singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper was released as a single on November 19, 2008. It peaked at #4 on the Swedish Singles Charts.
  • The Hives' lead singer Pelle Almqvist explained to Rolling Stone the reason they did a Christmas song: "Growing up, it was only 'O Holy Night,' which I really like now but being a young punk, it was the enemy," he said. "I think Christmas is just our excuse to go full-out Phil Spector and use two drum kits and the bells and whistles. We wanted to have this juxtaposition of really sweet music and nasty lyrics."
  • So why did the Swedish rockers draft in Cyndi Lauper to help with the call-and-response verses? "We came up with the song and we figured it was a duet, and we'd always hoped to do a duet with Cyndi Lauper. We thought she had a really cool voice," Alqvist explained. "We listened to her first album a lot on the tour bus."
  • Cyndi Lauper recalled the recording during a Reddit AMA:

    "I wasn't even going to go that day, because I wasn't feeling good, and I took a lot of vitamin C - I was on the punishment bus- it was one of those English buses with a smelly bus driver who kept his smelly clothes on the bottom and didn't change the freaking toilet water, it felt like I was livin' in the subway."

    "I got to Sweden and I was very excited, because i was going to work with the Hives - we went to go see them, and at first I was like 'It's REALLY dirty' and then they played me these other songs that were really funny and dirty - and then I thought 'as long as my son doesn't hear these, they're funny.' We had a blast doing them, and then a year later, my son came up to me and said 'Really mom? Really?!'"
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