State song is a symbol of racism

The Baltimore Sun is calling for all states to stop honoring their shameful Confederate pasts (“It's not enough for Northam to resign,” Feb. 4).

As I have urged you before, now is the time for Maryland to repeal, replace or revise our hateful state song, “Maryland, My Maryland.” I have contacted Gov. Larry Hogan's office about the issue several times. I've told him that if he is considering running for president, now is the time to confront this shameful state sanctioned hate speech.

Again, the options are:

Repeal the song outright. While this may be popular with some, I don't think it is the majority opinion of Marylanders or their representatives. This bill would probably fail.

Replace the song. Again, this may be popular with some. But this type of bill has failed in the past. Replacing the song is too complicated and expensive, if a contest is involved, and people don't want to lose the tradition of "Maryland, My Maryland" as our state song.

Revise: This is the most popular solution and would probably have the best chance of passing the legislature and becoming law. It is a sensible compromise. You could use John White's version of the song, but, frankly it isn't that good. His words could be describing any state. My version of the song, on the other hand, is inclusive of all Marylanders, and is chocked full of state symbols. I think my version could become a popular replacement. And my version keeps the part of the song everyone likes — the "Maryland, My Maryland" part. My version also will not cost the state a single penny as I've already turned ownership over to the Maryland State Archives.

As I've suggested before, one solution would be to make my version an alternative version of the song either by proclamation or resolution. This would get the version out into the public without the difficult battles a bill may face. Or perhaps make my version a temporary replacement until the state comes to a final answer to this problem.

No matter what solution you choose, now is the time to act! I especially call on my representatives, Sen. Antonio Hayes and Del. Frank Conaway, to take the bold and historic step of leading the way on this important issue.

Here is my version:

From rounded mountains highest crest,

Maryland, my Maryland.

To ocean beaches, we are blessed,

Maryland, my Maryland.

From city street to fertile farm,

The Chesapeake's abundant charm,

We pledge to shield you from all harm,

Maryland, my Maryland.

Where grand white oaks grow gracefully,

Maryland, my Maryland.

Where blue crabs swim beautifully,

Maryland, my Maryland.

Where thoroughbreds graze rolling hills, Where Black-Eyed Susan simply thrills, Your nature awes, your bounty spills, Maryland, my Maryland.

Our many paths have lead us here,

Maryland, my Maryland.

Our valiant past we treasure dear,

Maryland, my Maryland.

You are the home to truly brave,

When country called your children gave,

Forever may your bold flag wave,

Maryland, my Maryland.

With gentle words strong deeds are done, Maryland, my Maryland.

The Old Line holds and stands as one,

Maryland, my Maryland.

Into the future we will stride

With rich traditions as our guide,

O!, know this Free State is our pride,

Maryland, my Maryland.

Sean Tully, Baltimore

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