Maryland Delegate: State Song Has Confederate Sympathies - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Delegate: State Song Has Confederate Sympathies

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Maryland Delegate Karen Lewis Young Maryland Delegate Karen Lewis Young

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP/WBOC)- A Frederick delegate has called for the words of Maryland's state song to be changed because she says the song celebrates the Confederacy and disparages the Union government.
    
Delegate Karen Lewis Young submitted legislation this week to have the song "Maryland, My Maryland" substituted with a poem by the same title written in 1894 by John T. White, The Frederick News-Post reports (http://bit.ly/1Gc1NTU).
    
Young, a Democrat, says several of her constituents had sent her emails, saying that the 1861-penned lyrics demonstrate songwriter James Ryder Randall's Confederate sympathies, such as the lyrics "Northern scum." Randall wrote the song while in Louisiana after Union troops marched through Baltimore.
    
"The Civil War was the most divisive period in America's history," Young said Thursday. "I don't think our state song should be based on a battle hymn that celebrates that."
    
It isn't the first time someone has tried to change the lyrics to the song. Young said through her research, she found there have been about six attempts, including an unsuccessful bill drafted in 2009.
    
"I'm surprised that past efforts were unsuccessful, but I think that recently, as our consciousness has been raised once again, it warrants (looking again) at this song," Young said.
    
Young said she was proposing that White's poem become the new state song because it is not controversial and is focused on praising the state's natural landscapes.
    
Guy Djoken, president of the NAACP's Frederick County chapter, said it's rewarding that people are realizing the song, which makes people feel "uncomfortable," needs to be changed.
    
But not everyone is as supportive as Djoken, including State Sen. Michael Hough, R-Frederick, who says state officials have bigger problems to deal with than changing the song.
    
"Not only is it not a good use of our time to argue over, but it actually costs money," he said. "I could probably name 100 issues more important than that."

Below are the lyrics to the Maryland state song, Maryland My Maryland: 
    
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!


    

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