Maryland Senate OKs State Song Changes, Cuts 'Northern Scum' | NBC4 Washington
First Read
Your first stop for politics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Maryland Senate OKs State Song Changes, Cuts 'Northern Scum'

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    e X p o s e/Shutterstock

    Maryland lawmakers have taken a step to scrub references to "Northern scum" and other sensitive pre-Civil War phrases from the official state song.

    The Maryland Senate voted 37-8 Thursday for changes to the official state song. The measure now goes to the House.

    "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."

    The changes to the song keep one verse from the old lyrics and add one from an 1894 poem by John T. White that describes the state's beauty. While the changes would become the official state song, Randall's poem would still be acknowledged as Maryland's historic song.