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State song: Keep the tune, change the words | READER COMMENTARY

Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and scenic mountains deserve a prominent place in the state song instead of promoting the Confederacy and secession from the Union. File.
Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and scenic mountains deserve a prominent place in the state song instead of promoting the Confederacy and secession from the Union. File. (Courtesy Photo/Rob Green)

It’s pretty obvious that the current state song, “Maryland My Maryland,” has got to go (”Shelve Maryland’s toxic state song now,” June 25). But what should its replacement be?

I propose that the old tune, “O Tannenbaum,” be kept. Why? It’s already recognizable by most of us as the state song of Maryland. Marching bands, choirs and others will not have to learn a new piece of music. And the tune does have a certain majesty to it. Plus, since the music and the title “Maryland My Maryland” already constitute our state song, a transition may be easier.

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The lyrics should be easy to learn and understandable to all, no matter their education level. It should glorify all we love about our state, while also including important facts such as our state motto, our grand nickname, our founding based on tolerance and historic information on our statehood. And it should be easy and fun to sing. With all of that in mind, here are my new lyrics:

Freedom and light will shine on thee

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Maryland, My Maryland

A state of hope and liberty

Maryland, My Maryland

From mountains to the Eastern Shore

The southern tip to Baltimore

America in miniature

Maryland, My Maryland

Founded by those who tolerate

Maryland, My Maryland

Equality we advocate

Maryland, My Maryland

The colony became a state

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In April 1788

Seventh to make the country great

Maryland, My Maryland

The jewel of the Chesapeake

Maryland, My Maryland

Of “Strong Deeds and Gentle Words” we speak

Maryland, My Maryland

Our past is strong, our future bright

With pride we swell upon the sight

The flag of black, gold, red and white

Maryland, My Maryland

Richard Madow, Baltimore

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