U of Maryland Drops State Song, Students Unaware of Confederacy Link

“I’d be more upset if they didn’t play the fight song, I think.”

The official state song of Maryland has been dropped from the repertoire of the University of Maryland marching band because of the references to the Confederacy in the lyrics, reports WJZ. No longer will the battle hymn be played at school sporting events. That’s because of lyrics like these:

The despot's heel is on thy shore,
Maryland! My Maryland
His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland! My Maryland
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant's chain,
Maryland! My Maryland        
Virginia should not call in vain,
Maryland! My Maryland
She meets her sisters on the plain-
"Sic semper!" 'tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back again,
Maryland!
Arise in majesty again,
Maryland! My Maryland!

I hear the distant thunder-hum,
Maryland! My Maryland    
The Old Line's bugle, fife, and drum,
Maryland! My Maryland
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! she burns! she'll come! she'll come!
Maryland! My Maryland!

Maryland lawmakers tried to abolish the tune in 2016 and are at it again, even though the majority of the time the song is played as an instrumental. That’s apparent because none of the students WJZ talked to even knew it was a pro-Confederate song. Student Chris Rogers said he’s not familiar with the content, but said, “I’d be more upset if they didn’t play the fight song, I think.” Three black students were also interviewed about the song and appeared befuddled by the controversy.

But the university is doing the thinking for them:

As part of the university’s efforts to reaffirm our values as a campus community, we are assessing the songs that are played at Intercollegiate Athletic events. We are suspending the playing of “Maryland, My Maryland” to evaluate if it is consistent with the values of our institution at this time.”

“I think it’s a little absurd to what lengths people are going to,” student Monica Alston said. “They’re going to ban songs. They’re going to ban everything.”

WJZ noted that in 2015, U of M removed the name of one of its former presidents who was a segregationist from its stadium.

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