A Maryland state flag flies near the Statehouse in Annapolis. Maryland has decided to drop a state song composed during the Civil War that alludes to Abraham Lincoln as a tyrant and despot. Julio Cortez / AP hide caption
Julio Cortez / AP
Julio Cortez / AP
A song that alludes to Abraham Lincoln as “tyrants” and “despots” and to the Union as “Nordschaum”! is no longer Maryland’s official anthem after Governor Larry Hogan approved its repeal this week – a move some Republicans refer to as yet another example of “culture break”.
Hogan OKed the move months after state lawmakers voted to eliminate the long-controversial Civil War-era song, Maryland, My Maryland.
“We’re keeping the state song. It’s a relic of the Confederation that is clearly out of date and out of touch,” said Republican Hogan. said when he signed the measure on Tuesday.
Maryland, my Maryland, sung to the tune of O Tannenbaum, is based on a poem from 1861, inspired by the Pratt Street Riot on April 19th of this year. During the uprising, sympathizers attacked from the south the 6th Massachusetts Infantry marching through Baltimore en route to Washington DC days after the South Carolina militia fired the Opening footage of the Civil War on Fort Sumter.
When the war broke out, Maryland – which allowed slavery – was one of the few “border states” that refused to leave the Union but were also unwilling to take up arms against the Confederation. Despite the state’s official neutrality, many Marylanders fought on both sides during the Civil War. The state was occupied by Union forces during most of the conflict.
The state flag of Maryland adorns a plaque in Annapolis commemorating residents who fought in the Civil War. The flags of the United States and Confederates once occupied the square. Brian Witte / AP hide caption
Brian Witte / AP
Brian Witte / AP
After it was composed, Maryland, My Maryland, quickly became a hymn in the Confederation, serving as a rallying cry against what Southerners viewed as the oppression of the North.
It was adopted as the state’s official song in 1939, years after a governor rejected it, citing its inflammatory and divisive lyrics. It was rumored to be replaced in the 1960s. There were numerous attempts to repeal it from the 1970s, but none until the latest move managed to get past lawmakers.
Last year Maryland House spokeswoman Adrienne A. Jones, a Democrat from Baltimore, said she wanted to get rid of the song.
“The time has come for that,” said Jones, the state’s first spokesman for the African American House. said.
Senator Cheryl C. Kagan, op Democrat from Montgomery County Anyone who sponsored the legislation after two previous attempts failed, said in March that “There was a sense of enough is enough.”
But before the March vote at the Maryland House of Delegates, Minority Whip told Kathy Szeliga, a Republican who represents Baltimore and Hartford counties, that although she was personally offended by parts of the song, she would not vote to overturn it.
“We have a lot of demolition culture and we cancel everything,” said Szeliga Maryland Matters, an independent news site. “So I’d like to put this song in history, but I won’t be able to choose to keep it.”
The lyrics for Maryland, My Maryland, were written by Baltimore-born James Ryder Randall, a southern journalist and poet, “as a plea for his home state to take what it regards as its rightful place among the states that make up the Union have left.” to form the confederation “, according to a Maryland State Archives Study of the song commissioned by lawmakers in 2015 in the midst of numerous efforts to repeal it.
Randall later served in the Confederate Navy before returning to journalism after the war.
His song contains typically unsung lyrics that refer to “The Despot’s Heel” by President Lincoln. The words also beg the Marylanders not to allow Virginia to call for secession “in vain”, suggesting they will spurn the “northern scum” instead!
In a premonition, the song even repeats the infamous scream “Sic semper tyrannis!” (“Always to be tyrants!”) From Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth when the actor jumped off the stage at Ford’s Theater in Washington after he shot the President on April 15, 1865.
When Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s forces invaded near Frederick, Maryland in September 1862, the gang of his army struck Maryland, My Maryland, apparently in the hope that it would stir the secessionist mood, it says Archive report.
After the war, the song remained popular and when it was officially adopted as Maryland’s state song it has “acted as the de facto state anthem for many years,” the report said.