The Killers are one of the few bands that I got to know after the 1970s, and one of the things I like most about the band is that they used to release an original Christmas song/music video each year since 2006, with the profits going to support the Product RED campaign to end AIDS.
In 2016, the band released a Christmas charity album in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of (RED), a charity co-founded by Bono. Don’t Waste Your Wishes gathers all of the band’s Christmas singles, and adds one more: 2016’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”.
A bit of a departure from some of their less traditional attempts at a Christmas song, here they’re taking on a bona fide classic from 1943 by Bing Crosby. It’s a sweet duet between frontman Brandon Flowers and his old teacher, Mr Ned Humphrey Hanson.
That was the last year The Killers released a Christmas song, and lead singer Brandon Flowers has indicated that they will not be releasing any more.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t keep the music alive by continuing my holiday tradition of sharing the 11 songs that make up the Don’t Waste Your Wishes album.
If you don’t have time right now to listen to all of them, I would recommend Christmas in L.A. and Joel, the Lump of Coal.
Here is the audio of White Christmas from 2016, followed by YouTube videos of their first 10 Christmas songs.
2006: A Great Big Sled – features Toni Halliday, the former lead vocalist of Curve, on backing vocals.
2007: Don’t Shoot Me Santa – the first song in what will become part of a trilogy in later years. Features a different kind of Santa. Based on YouTube views, this is the most popular video, with nearly 7.3 million views.
2008: Joseph, Better You Than Me – a beautiful song featuring Elton John and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
2009: ¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe! – featuring Luke Perry as a cowboy, with backup vocals by Wild Light and Mariachi El Bronx.
2010: Boots – starts off with a clip from “It’s a Wonderful Life. The cover of the LP shows a snowglobe with boots in it, a reference to Citizen Kane. Tells a heart-warming story of redemption.
2011: The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball – a catchy tune with lyrics from a 1890 poem of the same name by William Lawrence Chittenden. Video features cowboys and aliens.
2012: I Feel It In My Bones – picks up where Don’t Shoot Me Santa left off, once again featuring an evil Kris Kringle. Ends with a creepy take on a verse from Silent Night.
2013: Christmas in L.A. – one of my favorites, the video features Owen Wilson. Dawes co-write and also performed on the track. Great animation. While it may be considered somewhat depressing, it could also be viewed as a tribute to those who follow their dreams, despite the cost.
2014: Joel, The Lump Of Coal – another one of my favorites, this animated video made its debut on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Kimmel also co-wrote the song, along with The Killers and Jonathan Bines. Has a catchy tune, and a great message. Plus Brandon Flowers is wearing an awesome Christmas sweater.
2015: Dirt Sledding – the third and final chapter in a trilogy storyline involving a grudge-holding Santa Claus. First song in the trilogy was “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” followed by “I Feel It In My Bones“. Features a voiceover by Richard Dreyfuss.