In the early days of the civil war, a mob in Maryland attacked a Massachusetts regiment and a few of the rioters were killed in an incident known as the Pratt Street Riots. Randall, a Marylander who was a teacher in Louisiana, penned this song as a call to action for his native state. Despite this, "Maryland, My Maryland" was not adopted as the state song until 1939, chosen to celebrate that state's proud tradition of racism and treason. (Not that I can talk, my state song actually contains the word "darkies"!) It is the only US state song, and probably the only state or provincial song in the world (except for maybe Quebec), that advocates a violent overthrow of the national government. A rant impressive for its sheer hysteria, it takes swipes at that pesky "despot" Abraham Lincoln and those "Northern scum", a thinly veiled racist code word for white ethnics like Germans and Irish.

At least three attempts have been made to eliminate the song in the state legislature, but all failed because of stiff resistance. Some legislators even received death threats. A vocal and influential segment of the state's population, including some influential rich wasps who trace their families back to Confederates, resist the change.

Sure, people can be proud of their Confederate heritage if they choose to be, that's fine. Call me crazy, but a state song should represent everyone in a state, not just the Confederate sympathizers. Like the descendants of those who fought in the Union Army, or the 27% of the population who is black, or more recent immigrants who don't give a rat's ass what some crazy white people did 140 years ago and think that they should get over it already.

Replacing the state song does not erase the state's heritage. Take the words of 15 year old Ben Meiselman, who started a drive to get a new state song for his high school civics project. He was forced to learn and recite the song in 4th grade social studies: "By making it not the official state song, that doesn't mean it's not part of our history. People can still look at it and say, `Oh, that used to be the Maryland state song.' It just means it doesn't represent us anymore. I don't think I want it representing me.''

Don't you love it when a teenager is smarter than an entire state legislature?

Source: Facts come from an Associated Press report in today's newspaper, opinions come from my own ego.