Delegate: Maryland’s State Song Shouldn’t Have Confederate Undertones

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MARYLAND MY MARYLAND BY RANDALL 1862The Maryland state song. It sounds like “O Christmas Tree,” but it’s an ode to the Land of Pleasant Living. “Maryland! My Maryland!” seems so stodgy that any performer should be required to wear a powdered wig while singing it. But amid the nationwide call to remove Confederate symbols, one state delegate has found that it’s laced with Confederate sympathies. Taking it a step further, James Ryder Randall’s 1861 poem even calls on Marylanders to join the Confederacy to fight the Union.

According to CBS Baltimore, Del. Karen Lewis Young filed a bill to change the official state song. She’s not the first, but her call comes at a time when change on such issues is actually happening.

There are plenty of great poetic lines in the song like “Thy beaming sword will never rust,” and “Chaunt thy dauntless slogan song.” But for everyone of those, there’s a call that every Marylander “spurns the Northern scum.” And then there’s the more subtle references to “despot” and “tyrant” that are actually referring to Abraham Lincoln. You can only appreciate Randall’s ability to slide them in under the radar.

Gov. Larry Hogan was asked about the state song on Thursday, and said he had no interest in reviewing it, or any other potentially Confederate monuments, for that matter. But Young seems serious, as she found another song called “Maryland, My Maryland” that was written about 30 years later when battle cries were out of vogue.

To resolve this potential impasse, we present the fact that the song has an unthinkable nine verses. No matter how much you love Maryland, no one would probably mind if Hogan brandished thy beaming sword to lop off a few lines.

 



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