I moved to Baltimore for medical school 22 years ago, and the only exposure I have had to “Maryland, My Maryland” was when it was sung at the Preakness each year (”House of Delegates Speaker Jones: Civil War-themed state song, ‘Maryland, My Maryland,’ needs to go,” June 23). But I can not recall ever clearly hearing any of the words, or seeing them subtitled on the screen. I thought that maybe my ignorance of the lyrics was due to my Yankee upbringing, but my wife, a Pikesville native; my children, both schooled in Baltimore County Public schools; and my staff, all Baltimoreans, could not name one word of the song, except the title. And I’ve never seen the lyrics in print in an article about the song until today.
With good reason. The song is horrible.
“Maryland, My Maryland” reads like a Confederate era “diss track” to Abraham Lincoln (“the tyrant”), and a love song to John Wilkes Booth. The entire song is a battle cry to join our “sisters” like the state of Virginia in the Confederacy, and we should take as our battle cry, “Sic Semper,” the words shouted by the assassin of the Great Emancipator. This song needs to be changed or keep the tune and title but change the words.
Our state and nation are faced with so many complex challenges which defy easy answers. Here’s a softball. Change this awful song.
Dr. Brett Levinson, Baltimore
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