SONGWRITER

The swan song of Abbey Lincoln, the voice of human rights

Abbey Lincoln
Abbey Lincoln

Abbey Lincoln, born Anna Marie Wooldridge, was a popular American jazz singer who wrote songs about black culture and civil rights and performed them in the dramatic style worth of note. In addition to her musical career, she ventured into acting and appeared in movies such as The Girl Can’t Help It and Gentleman Prefer Blondes

She explored more philosophical themes during the later years of her songwriting career and remained professionally active until well into her seventies.

"When everything is finished in a world, the people go to look for what the artists leave. It's the only thing that we have really in this world–is an ability to express ourselves and say–I was here."

Here's the song that is widely considered one of her best:

"Down Here Below, is probably the best song I’ve written so far, if I was going to have to choose one."

Share this story
  • The History of Popular Music

    Discover stories from each decade. Listen to gems from the 1960s, 1970s, and more.
  • Early Music

    Read all about the formative music of the past centuries. Enjoy the regal yet easy sounds of the Baroque and Renaissance.
  • Indian Classical Music

    Dive into the South Asian philosophy through Indian classical music. Learn about musical traditions of the Hindustani and Carnatic culture.
  • The Epoch of Romanticism

    Get a taste of the most beloved and fruitful music period. See the personalities behind the major shift of the eras — from Classical to Romantic.