The First Civil War may end in time for the Second

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

Yet another sign that people are increasingly ready to move beyond the First Civil War:

Maryland lawmakers took a step Thursday toward scrubbing references to “Northern scum” and other Civil War-era phrases from the official state song.

The Maryland Senate voted 37-8 for the changes, while also recognizing “Maryland, My Maryland” as the state’s historic song. Supporters of the measure, which now goes to the House, said it was a compromise that removes offensive language and recognizes history.

“They keep the historic song. It’s still there, but this bill is an excellent compromise to move forward, so that our children and our children’s children and so that all Maryland can be proud of our state song,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat. “At the present time, all of Maryland cannot be proud of our state song, and so that’s the reason I’m voting green.”

Maryland, which is below the Mason-Dixon Line, was a slave state with strong southern sympathies, but nevertheless refused to secede from the Union.

“Maryland, My Maryland” was written in 1861 by James Ryder Randall, when he was despondent over the death of a friend who was shot while protesting Union troops in Baltimore. It refers to President Abraham Lincoln as a “despot” and the need to “burst the tyrant’s chain.” The changes keep one verse from the old lyrics and add one from an 1894 poem by Frederick County educator John T. White that describes the state’s natural beauty.

It’s not merely a matter of some bad words, such as “scum”. You have to forget that your soldiers ever sung Stille Nacht because it is time to learn new songs for whatever new struggle people are hoping for.

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