Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh Maryland

Maryland My Maryland

Written by James Ryder Randall
To the tune of Oh Christmas Tree

The despot's heel is on thy shore,
Maryland, My Maryland!
His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland, My Maryland!

Avenge the patriotic gore That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore, Maryland! My Maryland!

Hark to an exiled son's appeal, Maryland, My Maryland!
My Mother State! to thee I kneel, Maryland, My Maryland!
For life and death, for woe and weal, Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird they beauteous limbs with steel, Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not cower in the dust, Maryland, My Maryland!
Thy beaming sword shall never rust, Maryland, My Maryland!
Remember Carroll's sacred trust, Remember Howard's warlike thrust,
-And all they slumberers with the just, Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! 'tis the red dawn of the day, Maryland, My Maryland!
Come with thy panoplied array, Maryland, My Maryland!
With Ringgold's spirit for the fray, With Watson's blood at Monterey,
With fearless Lowe and dashing May, Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! for thy shield is bright and strong, Maryland, My Maryland!
Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong, Maryland, My Maryland!
Come! to thine own heroic throng, Stalking with Liberty along,
And give a new Key to thy song, Maryland! My Maryland!

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant's chain, Maryland, My Maryland!
Virginia should not call in vain! Maryland, My Maryland!
She meets her sisters on the plain- "Sic semper!" 'tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back amain, Maryland! My Maryland!

I see the blush upon thy cheek, Maryland, My Maryland!
For thou wast ever bravely meek, Maryland, My Maryland!
But lo! There surges forth a shriek From hill to hill, from creek to creek
-Potomac calls to Chesapeake, Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not yield the vandal toll, Maryland, My Maryland!
Thou wilt not crook to his control, Maryland, My Maryland!
Better the fire upon thee roll, Better the blade, the shot, the bowl,
Than crucifixion of the soul, Maryland! My Maryland!

I hear the distant thunder-hum, Maryland, My Maryland!
The Old Line's bugle, fife, and drum, Maryland, My Maryland!
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb -Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! she burns! she'll come! she'll come! Maryland! My Maryland!

The song was adopted during the 1986 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

When I played with the Mighty Sound of Maryland (your University of Maryland Marching Band), we also found a much funnier version of the song which, for the life of me, I have been unable to uncover again. Some of the words were, "I had a dog his name was Jack, I threw a stick he brought it back," "From Baltimore to Hagerstown, take your car and drive around," and "I'm sorry if you think it's bad, but it's the only song we had."

Oopsy - late breaking news - here's the newer version, from here. I believe it came from an old Baltimore Sun article, but I have no clue of the date or the article...enjoy!

We've got some hills, we've got some trees, we sing in four-part harmonies;
There's shopping malls and city halls, and cats and dogs and ponds with frogs;
But none of us has ever meant to overthrow the government.

From Baltimore to Hagerstown, just take your car and drive around.
We're near the nation's capital, but we are not stuck up at all,

So take a stand and shake the hand of every crab in Maryland.

We touch four states and several bays, the highways mostly run both ways,
We hope you come and say hello and maybe stop and spend some dough.
When I was ten my family moved here from Vest Virginia;

I went to school in Annapolis, I studied Greek and calculus,
And now I live in Baltimore and that's what Maryland is for.
Oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland.

I have a dog whose name is Jack, I threw a stick, he brought it back.
My sister had a cat, I think, my mother had a kitchen sink.
My father Was a decent man, and we all lived in Maryland.
Oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland.

Our nights are dark, our days are fair, we're right next door to Delaware.
Our song before was full of gore but we heard the Union won the war.
We're sorry if we made you mad, it was the only song we had.
Oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland.

(You can listen to the original here)


Tapestry said...

Thanks for the history lesson - including your history in the Mighty MD Fear the Turtle Banc!

So were you a widdle bored at work today??


Flawn said...

The source of the offend-noone version of the MD song was a feature piece on NPR's All Things Considered in the early 1980's. The lyrics were written by Larry Massett and Art Silverman; Art is still on staff at ATC, and Larry produces the relatively new NPR series "Hearing Voices". I was one of the singers on the original session.