Maryland state song lyrics could be updated
“Maryland, My Maryland” has been our state song since it was formally adopted in 1939. It, however, does have a pro-Confederate message and origin. As such the General Assembly wants to repeal it. Yet should we completely abandon a song that brings about such pride from every Marylander when they hear it? No. Instead it needs to be replaced by the Pro-Union version that was written by Septimus Winner in 1862. Maryland was after all a Union state, loyal to the Northern cause with 33,995 Marylanders joining the Union Army to fight for freedom of all Americans; nor can we forget the 2,982 Marylanders who made the ultimate sacrifice in our fight.
In the divisive strife that has taken place in our country, a knee-jerk reaction would not be the wisest decision. It takes away from the true history of Maryland. While there was a minority of Confederate sympathizers, Maryland was a majority pro-Union state, even voting for President Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky’s state song is of course, “My Old Kentucky Home,” which itself had lyrics that had some racial insensitivities. As we know though, Kentucky proudly performs this during events like the Kentucky Derby. How? Well in 1986, the Kentucky Legislature passed a resolution to alter the words in order for it to be inclusive of all Kentuckians. It was that simple. Honoring Kentucky’s history yet appropriately changing the lyrics. Nothing is stopping Maryland from appropriately doing the same.
I appeal to you, the proud citizens of Maryland, for your opinion. As your delegate, I am your voice. Many pieces of legislation will be brought forth during the 2021 General Assembly session for consideration such as the repeal of the state of Maryland song.
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