Every year for the last 10 years The Killers have released a Charity Christmas single with all proceeds going to the RED foundation, the charity co-founded by U2 frontman and ‘woman of the year’ Bono that works to eradicate AIDS in Africa. It’s a Christmas tradition that started out in ‘06 with ‘A Great Big Sled’, and has continued ever since, with the recent editions being ‘Joel the Lump of Coal’ (a collaboration with Jimmy Kimmel), ‘I Feel It In My Bones’, and the Owen Wilson-approved ‘Christmas in LA’. This year, the Las Vegas group have collected all of those tracks, plus a brand-new cover of the Bing Crosby classic ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’, and have released them as a holiday album called ‘Don’t Waste Your Wishes’.
The Killers have chosen to eschew killer Santa Clauses and anthropomorphized lumps of coal for a more traditional outing with ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’. It also marks their 11th Christmas single. The song was written by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent, and famously recorded by Bing Crosby in 1943, to honour soldiers who were spending the holidays overseas defending their country; the song has since become a Christmas standard. This take features a spoken word intro from frontman Brandon Flowers, as well as contributions from his fourth-grade teacher, Ned Humphrey Hansen – Flowers credits Hansen with teaching him about the holiday song. Flowers introduces the song with a story of his family moving from Henderson, Nevada to Payson, Utah, where he first met Hansen. He then tells the story of how the teacher sang ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ acapella to his fourth-grade class, and it struck such a chord with the singer that he brought him along for this year’s holiday release.
‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ is available for download now, with all proceeds benefiting Bono’s (RED) charity. Also available for download is Don’t Waste Your Wishes, an 11-song collection of The Killers’ holiday output featuring Elton John, Richard Dreyfuss, and Mariachi El Bronx that will be released as a limited edition CD on December 9, available exclusively through the band’s website.