Carroll County Times Opinion

Tomlinson: Some suggestions for Maryland Democrats as they focus on repealing state song | COMMENTARY

For nearly 50 years, Democrats in the General Assembly have been trying to repeal our state song, “Maryland, My Maryland,” and it appears that they will finally get their way this legislative session. Over the course of decades, liberals have been singing the same tune — that the lyrics are racist and have white-supremacist overtones.

The anthem’s lyrics, written by a southern sympathizer, upset that his friend had been shot during the Baltimore riot of 1861 when city residents clashed with Union troops marching through the city to occupy it, do refer to the Union as “Northern scum” and President Lincoln as “the tyrant” and “the despot.”


By the time the session ends on April 12, it is likely that Senate Bill 08 and House Bill 667 will have passed and the designation of “Maryland, My Maryland” as our State song will be stricken from Maryland Code.

The General Assembly does not appear to be in any rush to replace the song. Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin, representing western Carroll County, wrote a replacement song last summer, but it has not received much traction. After listening to it on YouTube, I would suggest that the congressman is no Bob Dylan or Paul Simon, and that he stick to politics and practicing law.


While I am no lyrical genius like Rep. Raskin, I would like to suggest a few songs for Maryland to adopt as its own that could gain support from Democrat legislators.

In the ’80s rock jam “Never” by Heart, the main chorus is “Never Run Away.” I would recommend tweaking the song to “Never Return to Class,” — a jingle teachers’ unions have been belting out as of late.

Despite Gov. Hogan calling on county school systems to reopen the schools in January and the CDC’s recommendation last month that it is safe for kids to return to the classroom, teachers’ unions are still pushing back. All across the state, teachers’ unions are holding protests and rallies and even filing temporary restraining orders and injunctions in court because they appear to never want in-person education to resume.

One of the opening lines of 1983′s “King of Pain” by The Police is, “There’s a black hat caught in a high tree top. (That’s my soul up there)” If we replace black hat with plastic bag, the ditty could easily be turned into an environmental rallying call for the ban of plastic bags.

With the Plastic Bag Reduction Act moving through both houses in Annapolis, it will not be long until the bag police prohibit retail establishments across the state from providing customers with plastic bags.

However, Democrat legislators may be hesitant to be supportive of a song by The Police based on the multiple pieces of anti-law enforcement bills their caucus has filed this year.

This year, both houses have passed police reform packages that will repeal and replace the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, make it more difficult to serve no-knock warrants, and substantially change use-of-force policies.

Many successful artists grew up in Maryland and once called the Old Line State home. For our new state song, we should consider paying homage to these hometown heroes.


Baltimore City’s own, SisQó, the platinum-haired rapper who got his start singing at the Fudgery in the Inner Harbor, released his hit “Unleash the Dragon” in 1999. We can put a fresh twist on the song and change it to “Unleash the Taxes” in honor of the Democrat-controlled General Assembly overturning Governor’s Hogan’s vetoes of two massive tax bills.

As a result of these vetoes, digital advertising is now taxed and the State’s 6% sales tax applies to digital services including audio and video streaming services, such as Spotify, Netflix, and Disney+, online news subscriptions, and audio and e-books. Despite what the folks who voted in favor of these tax hikes think, there is no doubt that these costs will be passed onto customers.

David Byrne, front man of ’80s new wave band Talking Heads grew up in Arbutus and graduated from Lansdowne High School. In the 1981 classic, “Once in a Lifetime,” Byrne sings, “You may find yourself in another part of the world.”

If Democrats are able to pass the TRUST Act, a wolf of a sanctuary bill hiding in sheep’s clothing, more undocumented immigrants will come to Maryland, making Maryland resemble a third-world country. The Act will provide those who are here illegally with protection in Maryland and make it harder for state and local governments to hand over detainees to federal agencies such as ICE.

The fact that Democrats are focused on repealing the “Maryland, My Maryland” when Maryland has struck an iceberg of a pandemic is shocking. Never mind the business failures, the unemployment, or challenge of mass vaccinations, the Democrats, like the band on the Titanic, just play on.

Christopher Tomlinson, third vice chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, writes from Melrose. Find him on Facebook at ColumnistChrisTomlinson or email him at