• "Give More Than You Take"

    More than a song, it's a cause. Please buy the CD to benefit charities near and dear to the Sirota family: 100% of the sales will be donated to Music Beats Cancer, Orange County Rescue Mission, and Team Think Pink.

     

    The lyrics convey a message of love, giving, and sharing life's precious moments—like dandelion seeds in the wind. 

     

    Words & Music

    Burton Sirota, George Pinckney, James Sampson, Steve Thompson

     

    Producer, Engineer & Mixer

    Alan Sanderson at Pacific Beat Recording, San Diego, California

     

    Principal Musicians

    Steve Thompson - Lead vocal, guitars

    James Sampson - Electric and acoustic guitars, vocals

    George Pinckney - Piano, keyboards, vocals

     

    Additional Musicians

    Michael Bedard - Drums, percussion

    James East - Bass guitar

    Gini Sparks - Vocals

     

    String Ensemble

    Pablo Hopenhayn - Violin, string arrangement

    Boryana Popova - Viola

    Juan Ignacio Emme - Cello

     

    Horns

    Mike McCoy - French horn

    Gary Sparks - Flugelhorn, trumpet, vocals

    Brad Steinwehe - Trumpet

    Steve Thompson - Trombone

     

    Choir

    Roger Alden Anderson - Choir Director & Arranger

    Peter Gourevitch, Connie Greene, Bryan Heard, Cher Lecours, Bob Weaver, Gary Williams

     

    Published by Enfant Terrible Music, BMI & Mooster Music, BMI

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    Video produced and directed by Dave Gresalfi
  • The story behind the music and its message

    "Like dandelion seeds in the wind, spreading positive energy and growing the community Burt had built..."

     

    Burton Sirota was a lyricist with a keen observational eye, a poetic flair, and a boldly vulnerable streak. Yet, only a few knew of his literary gifts. Most remember Burton’s Ferris Bueller-like charisma in befriending any and everybody, having the most quick acerbic wit as well as enjoying his warm and generous spirit. When diagnosed with cancer in 2016, Burton began to share his lyrical ideas.

     

    At 61 years young, Burton passed away on December 20, 2020, yet his spirit is now immortalized in song. Professional musicians George Pinckney, Jim Sampson, and Steve Thompson—Burton’s lifelong friends —wanted to ensure his legacy by finishing and recording Burton’s song, “Give More Than You Take.” It is a poignant, Beatles-esque track that captures a man as he’s facing death with dignity and grace; it expresses love and gratitude for his time and the deep friendships he made in his lifetime. It urges listeners to disregard what’s non-essential in life and instead, value the essence of what is truly important. Credited to the new band and songwriting team that George, Jim and Steve formed, The Dandelion Dream, the release’s proceeds will be donated to select organizations that Burton supported.

     

    “Burton knew he was dying when he wrote these lyrics, but he was committed to examining his life through the creative process. He seemed to be searching for the ‘meaning of life’ or at least, what was important to him,” Jim shares. “I think one of Burton’s lasting legacies, as expressed in this song’s lyric, are the friendships that he valued and invested in with all of his heart and soul,” Steve says. George adds: “He touched a lot of people’s lives.”

     

    Jim, George and Steve grew up with Burton in Costa Mesa, California and make up a formidable team of music all-stars. Jim performs and records as critically acclaimed, San Diego-based singer/songwriter Oliver James. Guitarist, jazz trombonist, and singer/songwriter Steve Thompson is best known for his 1980s mod-punk revival band, The Jetz, and continues today as a performer and recording artist. Keyboardist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and producer George Pinckney runs the popular YouTube channel, Newport George, where he shares imaginative versions of his favorite songs, spanning decades. Prior to this project, this trio had never worked together.

     

    Facebook provided Burton the inroads to get his lyrics and musical ideas for inspiration out to the universe and to individual musician friends—including George, Jim, and Steve. “After the diagnosis, he realized he hadn’t shared a big part of his life, and, with the time he had left, he wanted to get that out,” Steve says. At the time, George, Steve and Jim weren’t aware Burton had casted a wide net to others with his lyrical ideas until after he passed. “It was like he was blowing on dandelions and just seeing where the seeds would scatter,” Jim says. After Burton’s death and what would have been his 62nd birthday, Jim decided to work on one of Burton’s lyrics. Knowing about the Facebook community forming around Burton and reading both George and Steve’s commentaries on Burton’s page, Jim contacted the pair to see if they would be interested in collaborating.

     

    Together, Jim, George, and Steve joined creative forces to finish Burton’s lyrics, “Give More Than You Take.” Burton’s initial idea was the opening lyric: I’m by myself, but not alone/I’ve got the love of my family/And the friends that I know. Based on Burton’s story and his musical tastes, George, Jim and Steve co-wrote the music and completed the song around these powerful words. Artistically empathic to the life messaging of the lyric, the trio poignantly captured Burton’s essence and time as his life dimmed. “Burton was always upbeat, yet also quite sardonic until the very end,” Jim says.

     

    Reflecting on the song, George says: “Burton would be smiling right now—he would love to be associated with this.”

  • Burton Kibler Sirota

    Cherished son, brother, and friend,
    died from respiratory failure and cancer
    on Sunday, December 20, 2020
    (Read more)

  • Lyrics to "Give More Than You Take"

    I'm by myself, but not alone

    I've got the love of my family

    And the friends that I know

     

    My step is unsteady,

    my hands sometimes shake

    I want to stay with you longer

    But I don't own my days

     

    Things that I know

    Like clouds in my head

    Some make my heart ache

     

    But they've helped me grow

    At the end of the road, I know

    I'll give more than I take

     

    Though these days can be heady,

    maybe it’s harder to stand...

    I want to stay with you longer

    And give you all that I can...

     

    Give—give for your own sake

    Live life—in every way

    Give more than you take

     

    Give—give more every day

    Let love lead the way

    You've got to give more than take

     

    What you need to know

    I hold each of you close

    And I'm bent but won't break

     

    When it's my time to go

    At the end of the road, you know

    Life’s more than a game to play

     

    With a joke at the ready...

    I hear your laugh, see your smile...

    I want to stay with you longer...

    Let's hang around for awhile

     

    Give—give for your own sake

    Live life—in every way

    Give more than you take

     

    Give—give more every day

    Let love lead the way

    You've got to give more than take

     

    Yeah…. miss you, Burt...

    Oh, don’t you know, you taught us how to live

     

    Give Love…

    Give Love…

    Give Love…

    Give Love…

     

    Give for your own sake

    Make your life full

    You’ll never be alone

    Give more than you take

    Let your love shine

    You've got to give more than take

     

    I wanna laugh

    I’m here to live

    I’m gonna love

    Gonna give more than take.

     

    ©2022 Published by Enfant Terrible Music, BMI & Mooster Music, BMI

  • Band members

    What began as “Burton Sirota + Friends" is now The Dandelion Dream. These principal musicians involved with the release of "Give More Than You Take" are all considered to be Costa Mesa, California musical all-stars. And yet, prior to this project, this trio had never worked together.

    Steve Thompson with acoustic guitar

    Steve Thompson

    Lifelong guitarist and singer/songwriter Steve Thompson might be best known as the frontman for the 1980s mod-punk revival band, The Jetz, and he remains active today as a musician and recording artist in a variety of contexts.

    Steve is also a blues harp player and jazz trombonist who has performed at major jazz festivals throughout North America and Europe. Steve regularly performs with a few bands, as well as solo, at a number of venues across the San Francisco Bay Area and LA.

     

     

    Jim Sampson with electric guitar

    James Sampson

    Jim Sampson is a singer/songwriter and guitarist who began playing music at a young age after hearing his parents’ Beatles albums.

     

    Jim has performed on stages around the world and is currently enjoying widespread critical acclaim recording and performing original music as Oliver James. Learn more at oliverjamesmusic.com.

     

    George Pinckney on keyboards

    George Pinckney

    Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and producer George Pinckney runs the popular YouTube channel "Newport George" where he shares imaginative versions of his favorite songs, spanning decades.

    George plays keyboards, piano, guitar, ukelele, harmonica, drums, and percussion.

     

     

  • Support worthy causes—buy the CD

     

  • Give more—donate to the Sirota family's chosen charities

    You can buy multiple CDs (100% of sales go to charity)—or donate any amount you'd like to benefit worthy causes and honor Burton's memory. Please give more than you take!

  • Contact us

    Be in touch to find out more about The Dandelion Dream cause, musical releases, and performances.