Yet all around the world, especially here in Wales, his voice still carries much resonance, gives us some hope.
His first contact with Wales came in 1928, when he was performing in 'Showboat' in the West End. Whilst in his hotel he was attracted by the sound of singing from outside. The singing was coming from unemployed miners who had marched to London to draw attention to the hardship and suffering endured by thousands of mining families in South Wales. He went outside to meet them, listened to their plight, recognised a shared suffering, and a mutual bond was born. He was to visit Wales many times, between 1928 and 1939, performing at Neath, Swansea and Cardiff. In 1940 he starred in the film Proud Valley, set in South Wales, that captured the harsh realities of Welsh coal miners' lives.
Most famously in 1938, he sang and addressed a massed audience in the Pavillion, Mountain Ash, at the International Brigade Memorial Service, organised to commemorate the 33 Welshmen who had been killed in the Spanish Civil War.
He addressed the audience thus :-
' I am here because I know these brave fellows fought not only for me but for the freedom of the people of the whole world. I feel it is my duty to be here.'
Long may he remain an inspiration. His name remembered as one synonomous with equal rights, the search for justice, peace and solidarity,the unquavering thirst for freedom.
Paul Robeson - Land of My Fathers.
Paul Robeson sings for the workers at Sydney Opera House.
Paul Robeson - We are climbing Jacob's ladder.