Maryland! My Maryland
DESCRIPTION: "The despot's heel is on thy shore, Maryland, my Maryland." The state's heroic history is recalled; the singer wants and expects her to join the Confederacy: "Huzza! She spurns the northern scum! She breathes! She burns! She'll come!"
AUTHOR: Words: James Ryder Randall
EARLIEST DATE: 1861
KEYWORDS: Civilwar patriotic nonballad derivative
April, 1861 - Clashes between Massachusetts troops and the residents of Baltimore
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (10 citations):
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 130-133, "Maryland! My Maryland" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AFS1, pp. 168-172, "Maryland, My Maryland" (2 texts plus a broadside pring, one being Randall's original and another a less Confederate version perhaps by Septimus Winner)
Silber-CivWarFull, pp. 70-72, "Maryland, My Maryland" (1 text, 1 tune); also p. 73, "Answer to 'My Maryland'" (1 text, a parody of the preceding); p. 73, "Kentucky! O Kentucky!" (1 text, a parody of the preceding)
Silber-CivWarAbbr, pp. 60-61, "Maryland, My Maryland" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hill-CivWar, pp. 195-197, "My Maryland" (1 text)
Krythe 9, pp. 142-149, "Maryland, My Maryland" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 355-357, "Maryland, My Maryland -- (O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum!; Lauriger Horatius)"
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #C107, p. 191, "Maryland, My Maryland" (6 references); also sundry parodies on p. 95, mostly titled, "Maryland, My Maryland"; see also "My Maryland" on p. 104
ADDITIONAL: Harry Dichter and Elliott Shapiro, _Early American Sheet Music: Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768-1889_, R. R. Bowker, 1941, pp. 113-114, catalogs early sheet music printings
William E. Studwell and Bruce R. Schueneman, _State Songs of the Unites States: An Annotated Anthology_, The Haworth Press, 1997, pp. 41-43, "(Maryland, My Maryland)" (1 text, tune on p.p. 127-128)
ST RJ19130 (Full)
Harry Macdonough, "Maryland, My Maryland" (CYL: Edison 2033, c. 1897)
Tandy Mackenzie, "Maryland, My Maryland" (Columbia 80320, n.d.)
cf. "O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree)" (tune) and references there
cf. "General Lee's Wooing" (tune, subject)
cf, "My Delaware" (form)
cf. "My Normandy" (tune, in some printings)
Answer to "My Maryland" ("The Rebel horde is on thy shore") (Silber-CivWarFull, p. 73; WolfAmericanSongSheets, , p. 95)
Kentucky! O Kentucky! ("John Morgan's foot is on thy shore") (Silber-CivWarFull, p. 73)
Our Maryland (Lawrence, p. 361 -- one of four "Maryland, My Maryland" rewrites on pp. 360-361, all the others being titled "Maryland, My Maryland")
See also the entries under "O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree)"
NOTES: James Ryder Randall was a native of Baltimore. At the time of the Civil War he was teaching English at Poydras College in Louisiana. He wrote this poem on April 26, 1861, after hearing of the Baltimore riot; the piece was published in a New Orleans paper on May 5. Randall hoped it would help encourage Maryland to secede.
Randall's expectations were disappointed; Maryland never joined the Confederacy. The Union could not possibly allow it; the loss of Maryland would place Washington inside Confederate territory. The federal government moved quickly to prevent the state's succession. One side effect of this was the riots in Baltimore that inspired "Maryland! My Maryland."
Chances are, however, that Maryland would not have seceded. Baltimore favored the rebellion, but the rest of the state seems to have been Unionist. A fair number of Maryland citizens went south -- Lee's army contained a Maryland battalion -- but more served in the Northern armies.
The reference to the "patriotic gore / that flecked the streets of Baltimore" is, of course, to the Baltimore riots. "Carroll" is Charles Carroll, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. I believe "Howard's warlike thrust" refers to Major John Eager Howard, who led the handful of troops who cut their way out of a British trap at the Battle of Camden (1780).
It should be noted that the sung version of this song does not quite match the written version. In Randall's poem, the internal refrain was not "Maryland, my Maryland"; he used this only in the final line. The internal phrase was simply "Maryland." This was expanded to fit the tune. For a time the poem was sung to the tune "Manormandie," but this was not a success. The "O Tannenbaum" tune is said to have been fitted by a Baltimore girl, Jennie Cary.
Even though Randall's authorship was widely known, a few other names also circulated. Wharton's War Songs and Poems of the Southern Confederacy, for instance, credits it to Lamar Fontaine. Dichter and Shapiro think that this is because Randall sent a copy of the poem to a friend shortly after writing it, and the other distributed it without Randall's knowledge. The apparent first edition is anonymous; by 1862, printings circulated which had Randall's name printed and declared that they were the only authorized versions.
J. Franklin Jameson, Dictionary of United States History 1492-1895, Puritan Press, 1894, p. 541 gives this capsule biography of the author:
Randall, James R., born in 1839, wrote many popular songs in support of the Southern cause, among them "Maryland, My Maryland" and "The Battle-Cry of the South." He became editor of the Constitutionalist in 1866.
There is a long chapter on the song, and on Randall, in E. Lawrence Abel, Singing the New Nation: How Music Shaped the Confederacy, 1861-1865, Stackpole, 2000 (chapter 3, pp. 67-80). Apparently Randall, after hearing of the Baltimore riots, flew into extreme agitation. He couldn't sleep, and couldn't sit still, and eventually cranked out this poem (Abel, p. 68). His students urged him to publish. Jenny Cary, who set the tune, was a daughter of a prominent Maryland family with Confederate sympathies, and her parents hosted a glee club. So it was easy for her to make her tune popular -- although the sheet music was published anonymously (Abel, pp. 70-71). The Carys eventually went south to avoid the political fallout.
Randall after the war became a journalist. He continued to write poetry, but was remembered only for "My Maryland" -- which he resented (Abel, pp. 78-79); it made it harder for him to get recognition for his other work. Nonetheless, his wife insisted on naming one of his daughters "Maryland," so that she could call the girl "My Maryland" (Abel, p. 79). He died in 1908 (so Studwell/Schueneman and his entry in the Dictionary of American Biography; Abel says 1907), apparently of pneumonia (Abel, pp. 79-80). "My Maryland" was made the state song in 1939 (Abel, p. 80). - RBW
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