The University of Maryland marching band has decided it will no longer play the state song before the college’s football games because of the song’s ties to the Confederacy, The Baltimore Sun reports.
A university spokeswoman told The Sun that the school’s marching band won’t play “Maryland, My Maryland” for the time being to allow the university to “evaluate if it is consistent with the values of our institution at this time.” The public university is the latest college to rid itself of any relic related to the Confederacy following the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
From the article:
“Maryland, My Maryland” — set to the tune of the Christmas carol “O Tannenbaum” — is the latest pro-Confederacy expression to come under fire in Maryland in the wake of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., this month. The song includes nine verses that served as a bloody call to action against President Abraham Lincoln and the “northern scum.”
Lawmakers have tried unsuccessfully for years to change the song, either by rewriting the lyrics or scrapping it entirely. Two years ago, the General Assembly asked the state archives to convene an advisory committee to examine the song; the panel urged lawmakers to revise or replace the song.
“Maryland, My Maryland” is based off of an 1861 poem by James Ryder Randall. The lyrics include references to President Lincoln as a “despot” and “tyrant.” It’s unclear whether the University of Maryland marching band actually sings the lyrics when it plays the song.
Brian Starace, a drum major in the marching band, told The Sun he’s happy to see the song get dropped from the band’s playlist.
“It was never something I was too proud to be playing,” he said. “It’s for the best to get rid of it.”
Though, some have indicated on Twitter that they see the song’s removal as an act of political correctness.
“Stop being LIBERAL biased,” tweeted James Jensen.
@UofMaryland I'd you don't play maryland,my Maryland at games then nobody will show up. Stop being LIBERAL biased
— James Jensen (@JamminJim420) August 28, 2017
Brad Kauffman, an alumnus of the university, said he’s “very disappointed that a school tradition has to come to an end because of political correctness.”
As an alum of umd, very disappointed that a school tradition has to come to an end because of political correctness. https://t.co/gxu0cx23YA
— Brad Kauffman (@Kauffman126) August 28, 2017