UMD marching band will stop playing state song with Confederate lyrics
COLLEGE PARK, MD — The University of Maryland marching band will at least stop playing the state’s official song, which was used as a pro-Confederate battle hymn and bashes “the Northern scum.”
A university spokesperson, Katie Lawson, says the school has suspended the playing of the controversial tune to “evaluate if it is consistent with the values of the institution at this time.”
The marching band used to play “Maryland, my Maryland” as part of it’s football pregame show. That song was written in 1861 by James Ryder Randall, who was a despondent over the death of a friend shot while protesting Union troops in Baltimore. The song refers to President Abraham Lincoln as a “despot.”
Drum major, Brian Starace, tells The Baltimore Sun, he supports the move, saying the song was never something he was “too proud to be playing.”
The university’s move comes shortly after a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. In the weeks since, cities across the country have reconsidering their monuments honoring the Confederacy.
Earlier this month, Baltimore’s Mayor Catherine Pugh had the city’s four Confederate-era monuments removed overnight citing safety.