Bono and the Edge of U2 joined forces with Glen Hansard and other musicians for a live rendition of Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on a holiday episode of Ireland’s Late Late Show on Friday night (December 18).
The show was a celebration of the annual Christmas Eve busking gigs on Dublin’s Grafton Street, inaugurated by Hansard a decade ago in aid of homeless charities in the city. It opened with Danny O’Reilly of the Coronas and Steve Garrigan of Kodaline combining on Mic Christopher’s “Heyday.”
The special also featured Shane MacGowan, John Sheahan of the Dubliners, Finbar Furey, Lisa O’Neill, and Vivienne Long performing “Raglan Road,” with Imelda May joining via Zoom. Hansard and Philip Powell, who was himself homeless for 20 years, covered George Michael’s “Faith.”
Powell, violinist Vivienne Long and the Heyday Choir also took part in the spirited, acoustic version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, the song was first recorded by Love and included on the celebrated 1963 holiday LP A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector. U2 covered it on the 1987 multi-artist album A Very Special Christmas.
The U2 stars also performed the band’s “Walk On” and, with host Ryan Tubridy, discussed their 10 million Euro donation to Ireland’s efforts to combat COVID-19. It included PPE (personal protective equipment) for frontline workers. “Any public advertisement of giving away money is PR,” said Bono, “so I just want to be clear about that. So if we are giving anything publicly, I think you’ve got to accept its a kind of exercise in self-promotion, and we’ve always tried always to avoid that — in this country especially — over the years.
“There was a lot of fighting in the band about this, but we felt like we had to come out and show solidarity. If we can’t be really useful, let’s find the people who are and try to get them protective wear.”
The Edge said: “We’re so fortunate, and so many people were far more impacted than we were, but actually it’s the people risking their lives to help others, they really needed support and deserved support.”