Give Yourself to Love: a tribute to Kate Wolf

No big story this week, just a short story about a life, maybe an average kind of normal life, but a special life none the less: a tribute. This is a tribute to Kate Wolf. For no particular reason other than I found myself remembering Kate Wolf and thought you might want to know her , celebrate her, remember her too. So, here are some extracted elements of a Kate Wolf Biography, originally written by Max Wolf and Jamie Keller in the Kate Wolf Songbook (© 1987 Owl Productions) … go check her out!

Kate Wolf was in San Francisco on January 27, 1942. She died far too early at the age of 44 on December 10, 1986 from complications of leukemia.  She was strongly influenced by the music that wove its way through her life. She loved the Weavers, Rosemary Clooney, and Dylan and the Beatles, the Kingston Trio, Merle Haggard and Lefty Frizell, and Hank Williams.

To say that she was an American folk singer and songwriter is just to skim the surface of her life, but those were important contributions that she made to her world, contributions that continue their resonance in our world. Many musicians continue to cover her songs. Some of her best-known compositions include “Here in California,” “Love Still Remains,” “Across the Great Divide,” “Unfinished Life,” and “Give Yourself to Love.” Her songs have since been recorded by artists such as Nanci Griffith and Emmylou Harris

Kate once said: “I live for a sense of a feeling of purposefulness in this world, you know, that I could stop my life at any point and feel that my life has been worthwhile; that the people I’ve loved and my children have all reached a point where their lives are now going to come to fruit. And as far as something I live by, it’s to try to be as alive as possible and feel free to make my mistakes and try to be as honest as I can with myself.”

Give yourself to love is my favorite Kate Wolf song:


Give Yourself to Love – Kate Wolf


Kind friends all gathered ’round, there’s something I would say

What brings us together here has blessed us all today

Love has made a circle, that holds us all inside

When strangers are as family, Loneliness can’t hide


You must give yourself to love if love is what you’re after

Open up your hearts, to the tears and laughter

And give yourself to love, give yourself to love


I’ve walked these mountains in the rain I’ve learned to love the wind

I’ve been up before the sunrise to watch the day begin

I always knew I’d find you though I never did know how

Like sunshine on a cloudy day you stand before me now.


Love is born in fire; It’s planted like a seed

Love can’t give you everything, but it gives you what you need

Love comes when you are ready; love comes when you’re afraid

It will be your greatest teacher, the best friend you have made


Thinking about Kate always reminds me that 1) we never know how long we have; 2) we can always do something with the time we have; 3) to give myself to love, to open my heart, that love is really, ultimately all there is.

 Give yourself to love! Enjoy the alchemy of laughter and tears that will ensue. Love will find a way to respect for dignity and fairness. Love is the way. Give yourself to love!