Maryland state song targeted for having ‘Confederate sympathies’
Source ….. The latest relic of the past being served up for skewering is the official state song of Maryland. Delegate Karen Lewis Young says the 9-verse “Maryland My Maryland” was written in 1861 by James Ryder Randall and reflects his “Confederate sympathies.” “I’m surprised that past efforts were unsuccessful,” she tells the Frederick News-Post, “but I think that recently, as our consciousness has been raised once again, it warrants [looking again] at this song.” “The Civil War was the most divisive period in America’s history,” Young says, according to WBOC. “I don’t think our state song should be based on a battle hymn that celebrates that.” She’s proposing “a poem by the same title written in 1894 by John T. White.” “His poem celebrates the beauty of Maryland. The beautiful shores, the majestic mountains,” according to Delegate Young. “It is in no way controversial, and I think we want to have a song that endures over time and something that just celebrates the state beauty, is unifying and enduring, and not controversial and divisive.” Guy Djoken, president of the NAACP’s Frederick County chapter, says it’s good people are realizing the song makes some “uncomfortable.” Republican state Sen. Michael Hough is dismissing Young’s proposal. “Not only is it not a good use of our time to argue over, but it actually costs money,” he says. “I could probably name 100 issues more important than that.” Here’s the 9-verse epic Young has deemed “inappropriate”:
I The despot’s heel is on thy shore, Maryland! His torch is at thy temple door, Maryland! Avenge the patriotic gore That flecked the streets of Baltimore, And be the battle queen of yore, Maryland! My Maryland!
II Hark to an exiled son’s appeal, Maryland! My mother State! to thee I kneel, Maryland! For life and death, for woe and weal, Thy peerless chivalry reveal, And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel, Maryland! My Maryland!
III Thou wilt not cower in the dust, Maryland! Thy beaming sword shall never rust, Maryland! Remember Carroll’s sacred trust, Remember Howard’s warlike thrust, And all thy slumberers with the just, Maryland! My Maryland!
IV Come! ’tis the red dawn of the day, Maryland! Come with thy panoplied array, Maryland! With Ringgold’s spirit for the fray, With Watson’s blood at Monterey, With fearless Lowe and dashing May, Maryland! My Maryland!
V Come! for thy shield is bright and strong, Maryland! Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong, Maryland! Come to thine own anointed throng, Stalking with Liberty along, And chaunt thy dauntless slogan song, Maryland! My Maryland!
VI Dear Mother! burst the tyrant’s chain, Maryland! Virginia should not call in vain, Maryland! She meets her sisters on the plain- “Sic semper!” ’tis the proud refrain That baffles minions back again, Maryland! Arise in majesty again, Maryland! My Maryland!
VII I see the blush upon thy cheek, Maryland! For thou wast ever bravely meek, Maryland! But lo! there surges forth a shriek, From hill to hill, from creek to creek- Potomac calls to Chesapeake, Maryland! My Maryland!
VIII Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll, Maryland! Thou wilt not crook to his control, Maryland! Better the fire upon thee roll, Better the blade, the shot, the bowl, Than crucifixion of the soul, Maryland! My Maryland!
IX I hear the distant thunder-hum, Maryland! The Old Line’s bugle, fife, and drum, Maryland! She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb- Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum! She breathes! she burns! she’ll come! she’ll come! Maryland! My Maryland!