The University of Maryland band won’t be playing the state’s official song, “Maryland, My Maryland” anytime soon. University spokeswoman Katie Lawson told News 4 school officials imposed a suspension to “evaluate if it is consistent with the values’ following complaints about its link to the Confederacy.
Maryland’s state song has been contested for years. In 2015, the Frederick News Post reported Maryland’s State Song Advisory Group’s report, which said the song, “is not inclusive of all Marylanders — either when it was originally written or today — and does not reflect current attitudes or what is best about our state.” The Post’s editorial board called the song “divisive, Civil War-era diatribe” and reported six previous unsuccessful attempts to change the song. All of those attempts occurred within the last 40 years.
James Ryder Randall wrote the song in 1861, News 4 reports, when he was “despondent over the death of a friend shot while protesting Union troops in Baltimore.” Randall also uses the word “despot” to describe President Lincoln.
News 4 says when University of Maryland students learned the history of the song, they largely supported the suspension. One student told Fitzgerald, “I say it’s a good idea. We want to break all ties with that way of thinking.”
SOURCE: NEWS 4