If I Die on Christmas

by Jake Bellissimo

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All proceeds go to the Albany Damien Center, a resource center for people living with HIV & AIDS. (www.albanydamiencenter.org)

Christmas feels complicated. I was raised Catholic and am now distanced from Christianity but can get upset when I hear people say "Remember, kids, Jesus is the real reason for the season" before running to a tree to pillage for gifts. Though those two things aren't mutually exclusive, it still feels hypocritical and fruitless.

But to view only that as being representative of Christmas or the general holiday season (I'm just speaking about Christmas because of the personal context but this can be applied to any religious celebration that can be nestled within consumerism) gives into the culture we live in that encourages us to calculate the conversion rate between money and our feelings towards someone...this cynicism always makes me feel like I'm taking away something rather than giving it.

Instead, I think it's cool to take time off and make a gift for someone, write a friend a song, or walk in the snow with a loved one after dark. Then I think about my friends who appreciate that while also celebrating their deity and I think that is cool as well.

To get to these moments I have to sometimes think about a larger picture, tugging at something that might be melancholic (not necessarily a bad thing) so I snap back and run to hug a friend.

Here are two songs to elaborate:

credits

released December 13, 2017

I wrote, arranged, sang and played piano/celeste on, recorded, produced, and mastered these songs

With help from (and many thanks to),

Nick Piato: Trumpet (Track 1)
Gabriel Ramos: Bass trombone (Track 1)
Laura Hundert: Clarinet (Track 1)
Chandler Brown: Vibraphone (Track 1), Sleigh bells (Track 1)
Adam Sadberry: Flute (Tracks 1/2)
Ekatarina Gorlova: Additional vocals (Track 2)
Carolena Belle Lara: Additional vocals (Track 2)
Raina Arnett: Baroque Violin (Track 1), Violin (Track 2)
Mary Fortino: Clarinet (Track 2)
Rennie Cotner: French Horn (Track 2)
Zack Osinski: Flute (Track 2)
The Lilac Quartet (Track 2), featuring Haley Schricker (Violin), Julia Churchill (Violin), Ethan Durell (Viola), and Jordan Lee Gunn (Cello)

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about

Jake Bellissimo Berlin, Germany

My name is Jake, I'm 24, and I write music about feelings.

Booking: Erica Lonardi, randomwordgeneratorrr@gmail.com

Email me: jake.bellissimo@gmail.com

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Track Name: If I Die on Christmas
If I die on Christmas,
pull me out from the snow
String me up with lights
and throw me in a casket

Tell the others that I won't be coming back
Help them hold back tears so they don't freeze in the cold

If I die on Christmas,
bake a batch of cookies
Sing some Christmas carols
and run from door to door

So, if I die on Christmas,
please move onto New Year's
Throw yourself a party
and live like you might die

Ride a bike across the
country 'til you grow tired
Meet some other people
and sit beside a fire

'Cos no one knows for certain, at least, not you or I
So let's kiss in the snow and gain warmth from this light
because I think this feeling is electric
Track Name: Mariah Carey's Xmas Album
Out on Gibbs St. again
snow has fallen, it graces the road
and it’s early enough that I am all I know

A few months ago I gave away your clothes
I thought you needed them but I should have known
that I can’t fix everything by holding onto time
It’s not mine
but that’s fine
That’s fine

Last year I couldn’t listen to this album
but now every note seems new
and it seems like I’m in the recording sessions
gaining my feelings back with each verse,

breaking my heart in reverse

I can hear Mariah singing “all I want for Christmas is you”
and I’m thinking about how love never dies
it just waits to renew
Track Name: If I Die on Christmas (Draft for Enzo)
If I die on Christmas,
pull me out from the snow
String me up with lights
and throw me in a casket

Tell the others that I won't be coming back
Help them hold back tears so they don't freeze in the cold

If I die on Christmas,
bake a batch of cookies
Sing some Christmas carols,
run from door to door

So, if I die on Christmas,
please move onto New Year's
Throw yourself a party,
live like you might die

Ride a bike across the
country 'til you grow tired
Meet some other people,
sit beside a fire

'Cos no one knows for certain, including you and I
So let's kiss in the snow and gain warmth from this light
because I think this feeling is electric

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