Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maryland, My Politically Correct Maryland

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," proudly raised in that part of the world where all the states scrunch together, and you can drive through four of them in an hour!

Where I grew up, the Mason-Dixon line was a serious thing. If you lived north of it, you were a Yankee. If you lived south of it, you were a Rebel.

No, I'm not 175 years old! I'm a whippersnapper. But I remember license plates that said, "The South will rise again," and t-shirts with a mean-lookin' Rebel soldier that said, "Forget? Hell no."

My high school was "The Rebels." Appropriate given the fact that the closest cemetery to the school holds the remains of the Confederate Dead of the Battle of Sharpsburg.

Our high school fight song was "Dixie." Pinkie swear. Football games began with a mostly-African American team running out behind a mascot dressed as a Rebel soldier, waving the "Stars and Bars."

Maryland. The Schizo State.

Have you seen Maryland's flag? You would if I could get the damned picture to load, but I can't. Trust me, if you stare at the Maryland state flag for fifteen minutes, it's the same as dropping shrooms.

News comes across the wire today that a member of the Maryland House of Delegates wants to pick a new state song.

The current state song, "Maryland My Maryland," is written to the tune of "O Tannenbaum." It was adopted as the official state song in 1939 and is pretty much a hysterical screed against Abraham Lincoln and the Grand Army of the Republic. I'm too lazy to look up when the lyrics were written, but I know it was just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.

Before the Confederates fired on Fort Sumpter, there were riots in Baltimore having to do with secession. Some of those riots got a little messy, as factions used extreme measures and took their differences to the Great Hereafter.

So, here's the first stanza of "Maryland, My Maryland." Mind you, the "despot" in question is Abe Lincoln:

The despot's heel is on thy shore
Maryland, my Maryland.
The 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.

If you're French, right now you're saying, "So what?"

The doggone song has about ten stanzas. (Again lazy.) Here's the final one:

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!

Oh, glory be! I'm thinking maybe -- if you get past the "Northern scum" part -- the legislators in Maryland are worried about inappropriate sexual imagery.

Honestly, I wish the state legislators of Maryland would spend their time more wisely, like on matters such as smart growth and the health of the Chesapeake Bay. But hey. We're talking politics here. Never mind that the Chesapeake Bay is a cesspit, let's change the state song!

You may disagree with me, but it's just a friggin song. No one knows the words except maybe a couple of Civil War historians. This is not like a flag with the "Stars and Bars," flying over the statehouse. It's an obscure little ditty that no one sings!

Maryland, get on with some real business, for the love of hard crabs!


Anonymous said...

Aaaaaaahhh, Maryland.

How I miss it.

(Me = grew up in Silver Spring, graduated from Laurel High School and did a few semesters at Yale on the Rails, Montgomery College before moving to central Florida.)

buddydon said...

wow! the thangs i never knew bout maryland!

Erik said...

I lived in Montgomery County for several years in the mid-70s (in a town so small that it didn't even rate a mention in a history of the *county*); I'm pretty sure that I never heard the state song in school.

I will admit to loving the flag, but then I'm a heraldry buff. I also love that the state sport is jousting. :)

I live in North Carolina now, and I can tell you that most folks down here nowadays think that the South stops at Virginia (at the most; my stepfather is from Alabama and he's not too sure that North Carolina even qualifies).

Quercus said...

Thanks for the Maryland flag trip-tip. WHOA!
I gotta go splash some water on my face.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Maryland, and you're right - we NEVER HEARD the words to that song and often wondered why the band was playing "oh Christmas Tree" at all these functions.

My friends from NY think we live in the South. I keep telling them that we really, really don't. Go see the south, then come back and talk to me about it.

Would that we could get funds used for something more appropriate, on the other hand, will anyone be sad to see that song go?

By the way, love your blog.

yellowdoggranny said...

them yankees...i'll swan...

Unknown said...

hey at least your legislature wasn't out to OUTLAW BARBIE DOLLS!

Pom said...

Via Rachel Maddow on Twitter:
As long as they're considering changes to the Maryland state song how about a drum solo or something?

democommie said...


Why not just have a Hip-Hop anthem, get all down with the times!

Morning Angel said...

Anne wrote, "but it's just a friggin song."

Always nice to see a nod to our Heathen goddesses, even if it was a bit derogatory.

Davoh said...

OOOps, and here's me SOUTH of the equator .. whoo hoo! Us little diggers frum the Eureka stockade ain't ded yet.