Preakness ends playing of ‘extremely offensive’ state song

Sports

BALTIMORE (AP) — The official state song “Maryland, My Maryland” will not be performed before the Preakness next month because the lyrics are perceived by some to be racist.

A spokesperson for Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness, said Friday the tradition of playing the song before the race will be scrapped on Oct. 3, when the Triple Crown series comes to Baltimore.

The action is a follow-up of a statement by Maryland Jockey Club on June 25 in response to Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones’ move to abolish “Maryland, My Maryland” as the state song due to its roots to the Confederacy during the Civil War.

“The Maryland Jockey Club is respectful and supportive of Speaker Jones’ move to remove “Maryland My Maryland” as the state song, and we look forward to starting a new tradition for Preakness 145,” the statement read.

The song was written by James Ryder Randall as a poem in 1861. The poem’s opening line is “The despot’s heel is on thy shore,” a reference to President Abraham Lincoln.

The lyrics include “Avenge the patriotic gore… That flecked the streets of Baltimore,” and later refers to the Union as “Northern scum!”

“It’s extremely offensive” Jones told The Baltimore Sun. “People just hear the words, ‘Maryland, My Maryland.’ But if you look at the words, it’s not something you want to hail as the song for the state.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.