It’s Just Not the Holidays Without a New Killers Christmas Song
Let it be known that for the first time in three years, I’m actually excited for Christmas. Pumped even. For about seven years or so, whether I was pumped for Christmas or not, there was one thing that kicked off the holiday season, and that was the yearly tradition of a new Christmas song by The Killers.
Usually released around December 1 to coincide with World Aids Day, The Killers would release ten Christmas songs, from 2006-2016 with all proceeds going to (RED). This tradition ended in 2016 with the release of the album Don’t Waste Your Wishes which collected the songs released from 2006-2015 and featured one new one.
And that was it. Christmas 2017 didn’t feel right without a new Killers Christmas song, and so I’m kicking off Christmas 2018 with an article collecting each of the ten songs.
2006: A Great Big Sled (feat. Toni Halliday)
“Great Big Sled” contains all the cleverness of the lyrics found on Hot Fuss and also has that sort of retro sound too.
2007: Don’t Shoot Me Santa
Brandon Flowers must have not gotten a special Christmas gift he longed for growing up because Santa Claus is usually portrayed as a villain in the Killers’ Christmas songs. “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” is a masterpiece. The tempo changes and Flowers’ vocal delivery make this a strong contender for one of the bands best in their entire discography.
2008: Joseph, Better You Than Me (feat. Elton John & Neil Tennant)
One of the great things about The Killers’ Christmas songs are that they aren’t overtly festive and cheesy. “Joseph, Better You Than Me” certainly doesn’t have a traditional Christmas song theme, but that didn’t bother Sir Elton John!
2009: ¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe! (feat. Wild Light, Mariachi El Bronx)
The Killers were not afraid to explore different genres for their yearly Christmas song and “¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe!” is a fiesta of a song. This is a soaring anthem that will be sure to fire up any holiday get together.
I wasn’t super into this one when it was first released in 2010 because it was a slower and not nearly as fun as the previous releases. Then I saw the video and cried. It was so touching and reminds us to think of others during the holiday season.
2011: Christmas In L.A. (feat. Dawes)
Another serious sort of downer Christmas song about an actor who is trying to live his dreams far from home and is miserable. You don’t have to be a down on your luck actor to identify though, especially if you are celebrating Christmas away from the ones you love.
2012: The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball
The Killers go hee haw country with this one. While normally I would say country is the lowest of low brow entertainment, those rules are out the window for Christmas songs and one of your favourite bands.
2013: I Feel It In My Bones (feat. Ryan Pardey)
Villain Santa is back but the real crime here is that while this is a solid Christmas song, it doesn’t hold a holiday scented candle to “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”.
2014: Joel The Lump Of Coal (feat. Jimmy Kimmel)
“Joel The Lump Of Coal” is a lot like “Boots”. Despite the silly concept, the song is quite touching. Santa is again a bad guy here, deciding to be cruel to a boy that hasn’t been on his best behaviour and a piece of coal who just wants to help out. Joke’s on Santa though when the boy gets a diamond.
2015: Dirt Sledding (feat. Ryan Pardey & Richard Dreyfuss)
The last original Christmas composition from The Killers came in 2015 and it’s a great way to end as it’s an epic genre-bending anthem that manages to capture the magic of the season.
2016: I’ll Be Home For Christmas (feat. Ned Humphrey Hansen)
The final Killers Christmas song nearly doesn’t feature The Killers and is more of a story than a song. Brandon Flowers tells of an elementary school teacher he had who sang “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” to his class and invites the man to do so again. I never knew the song was written about a soldier longing to come home from war so that was touching and provided a different context to this holiday standard.
So no new Killers Christmas song since 2016 and as they say, all good things must come to an end, but this was one Christmas tradition I got excited about every year, even if I wasn’t excited for the holiday season.
Don’t Waste Your Wishes is available to pre-order on vinyl from The Killers website and last week I did just that. There may not be any new Killers Christmas songs, but I can start a new tradition by playing this record at the start of Christmases to come.