University of Maryland marching band pauses playing state song over Confederacy ties

University of Maryland marching band pauses playing state song over Confederacy ties
The University of Maryland will temporarily stop playing the Maryland state song because of its ties to the Confederacy, a university spokeswoman said. (Image source: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The University of Maryland marching band will temporarily stop playing the state song because of the tune’s ties to the confederacy.

“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,” UMD spokeswoman Katie Lawson told the Associated Press on Monday. Lawson said that in the meantime, it is “suspending the playing of ‘Maryland, My Maryland’ to evaluate if it is consistent with the values of our institution at this time.”

The marching band typically played the song before football games.

“Maryland, My Maryland” was written in 1861 by Confederate soldier James Ryder Randall. It became the official song of Maryland in 1939, according to the University of Baltimore.

The song’s lyrics, which are sung to the same melody as “O Christmas Tree,” refer to former President Abraham Lincoln as a “despot” and calls the union, which fought to abolish slavery, “northern scum.”

According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland lawmakers have been advocating for years to change the state song.

In the wake of the Charlottesville white supremacist attack, it appears more likely than ever that they’ll get their long-awaited wish, as lawmakers and activists around the country advocate for the scrubbing of just about any Confederate reference.

Baltimore, for example, removed several Confederate statues under the cover of darkness following Charlottesville. Several other cities around the country, including Lexington, Kentucky, removed or relocated statues of Confederate leaders.

It was not immediately clear just how long the school’s assessment of the song could take. A university spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze on Monday.

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