Follow-Up to WATER Meditation with Virginia Day on

“The World is Falling Down—Hold My Hand”

Monday, June 13, 2022 7:30 PM

Video can be found at:

Thanks to Virginia Day for leading the June 2022 WATER Meditation on Abbey Lincoln’s song “The World is Falling Down—Hold My Hand.”

Virginia’s remarks follow:

Thank you, Mary, for the opportunity to be with you this evening and for all the many times we have shared with our WATER friends through this year.

I was first drawn to the theme and photo for this evening when I heard Kendra Shank sing Abbey Lincoln’s “The World is Falling Down.” * Not familiar with Abbey Lincoln, the Jazz vocalist, I was drawn to her after reading an interview conducted by Nate Chinen with Abbey Lincoln entitled “Abbey Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation” which appeared in the New York Times May 20, 2007.

At the time of the interview, Abbey was 76 years old and she died about four years later on August 14, 2010.  What drew me to explore her music and life was Abbey’s words that introduced the article “I had a chance to be myself, and I was.”  The many programs, themes, and meditation topics through these years that WATER has made available, certainly encouraged all persons’ desire and opportunity to “be oneself.”  Thus, I was drawn to Abbey’s inner freedom and integrity.

Kendra Shank, who recorded “The World is Falling Down” in 2005*, said the song became for her “a kind of 9/11 anthem and a healing time when the world seems to have lost its way.”   (

As I prepared for our contemplative time together, the artist’s sentiment cannot be truer during our time, faced with many issues that plague us each day: migration at the Mexican border, starvation in Somalia, burials in Uvalde, more evacuations in the Ukraine, and church slayings in Nigeria. We could go on and on.

At your leisure, I invite you to listen to the verses and musicians in total…. For now, I shall read the lyrics only.

The World Is Falling Down

Abbey Lincoln

There are some folks
I used to know
Who used to smile
And say hello,
And spin the world
And turn the page
From the stage

Father time
Forever true
Loves its own
And me and you
Disappear just like the sun,
When the day is done.

The world is falling down,
hold my hand
It’s a lonely sound,
hold my hand
We’ll follow the breeze
And go like the wind
And look for a place
Where the willows bend
The world is falling down,
Hold my hand, hold my hand,
Hold my hand, hold my hand

Summer’s gone
And winter’s here
We had a lot of rain this year
The news is really very sad
The time is late,
The fruit is bad
The morning’s come
And roosters crow
But people have no place to go
And disappear
Just like the sun
When the day is done

The world is falling down
Hold my hand
It’s a lonely sound
Hold my hand
We’ll follow the sun
And live for the day
And look for a place
Where the children play
The world is falling down
Hold my hand,
Hold my hand
Hold my hand
Hold my hand

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Abbey Lincoln

The World Is Falling Down lyrics © BMG Rights Management



Our image (two hands holding) will help us, to reflect on some possible questions during our time of silence together:

  • What holding another’s hand might mean?
  • Whose hands might need to be held?
  • Who holds your hand?
  • What barriers prevent our symbolic holding another’s hand?

I leave you now with time and quiet to ponder these questions and one’s you create this evening and in the days ahead.


Abbey Lincoln videos that include the song:

NYT Article:

“Abbey Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation,” May 20, 2007.

*Kendra Shank, A Spirit Free: Abbey Lincoln Songbook recorded January 2 & 3, 2005 at Eastside Sound, New York City

Kendra Shank website:

Thanks to Virginia and all who participated.

The next WATER Meditation is Monday July 11, 2022, 7:30 PM EDT with Cheryl Nichols providing leadership on a poem “The Red Brocade” by Naomi Shihab Nye.

All good wishes,

Mary E. Hunt