General Assembly Votes to Scrap ‘Maryland, My Maryland,’ State’s Pro-Confederate Official State Song
Bryn Stole, Baltimore Sun, March 20, 2021
It’ll soon be so long to the state song after the Maryland Senate unanimously voted to scrap “Maryland, My Maryland!” as the Old Line State’s official anthem.
The pro-Confederate Civil War-era tune features lyrics that denigrate Abraham Lincoln as a “tyrant” and call on Maryland to join the South in fighting “the Northern scum.” Penned in 1861 and set to the melody of “O Tannenbaum,” it has been blasted by critics as racist and an embarrassment to the state.
The vote late Friday cames after the House of Delegates likewise endorsed ditching the tune earlier this week, 94-38.
It leaves just a couple of steps before “Maryland, My Maryland” is stripped of the honored status it’s held since 1939. Previous efforts to ditch the song stretch back to the 1970s, but fell short.
There’s no tune in line to replace “Maryland, My Maryland” as the state song. Several earlier repeal efforts foundered amid quarrels over how to do so, either by rewriting the lyrics or adopting a new song. So, lawmakers this year chose to simply strike it from Maryland’s list of symbols.
“This has stained the pages of our law for too long,” Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes, a Democrat from Dorchester and Wicomico counties who sponsored the song’s repeal in the House, said earlier in the week.
Some Republicans in the House of Delegates who voted against repealing “Maryland, My Maryland” lamented that the song was falling victim to “cancel culture.”
But not a single state senator voted Friday night to keep it, with past defenders of the song coming around to advocate its repeal.