"Maryland, My Maryland" (Update 09/02/17 - new versions/new recordings/new bill)

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"Maryland, My Maryland" (Update 09/02/17 - new versions/new recordings/new bill)

Post by The Cracks » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:59 pm

Update (09/02/17): I'll post the entire update in new post but here are links to new versions of MD state song:

Maryland, My Maryland (Formal)

Maryland, My Maryland (A cappella)
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Update (1/30/16): I'll post the entire update on my journey in new post. But here is link to new version of the song:

Maryland, My Maryland

Update: I changed the sixth line in the third stanza as it sounds better the new way. The old line was ackward.

Update: I said earlier that the original song had 8 syllables per line and one of mine was 9. I discovered the original also has one 9 syllable line, so mine is right in that tradition. :metal:
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Update: My song lyrics and op-ed piece will run on the Baltimore Sun digital over the weekend and appear in the newspaper on Monday. Since last posting, I had another person listen to the song and they too said the "where blue crabs swim beautifully" line was troublesome, so I thought about it and decided that this is a song, not a poem, so if all the lines are eight syllables except one, which is nine, so what? So I dropped in the word "so" into that line, at the suggestion of Gwood ( :metal: ) and it works fine. While "beautifully" is a four syllable word, it is pronounced as almost a three syllable word by most people. Hey, I don't make the rules.

Also, I changed the line that read "Through winter, spring, summer, and fall" to "Through every season you enthrall," as it just sounded better.

I posted a new recording with the new changes. The recording is still not great, and I sort of flub the rhythm of the last stanza up, but it will serve as an example of how the song goes.

Thanks again for listen, comments, and tips!

p.s. I removed the Youtube video as the lyrics have been changed enough to make the video obsolete.

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Here is a simple recording on my version of the state song of Maryland, which is called "Maryland, My Maryland". It's not best recording but it's for demonstration purposes only so people can hear it. It's a causal version to show that anyone can sing the song. I have a formal Youtube version to show the song can be sung at official ceremonies, etc. (Just Google Maryland, My Maryland Sean Tully and it will come up.) It's not very good but, again, it's only for demonstration purposes. (My recording days are really over as my Mixcraft gives me fits and my PC sucks. I'm tired of messing with it all.)

I'll post the link first and then an explanation below that:

"Maryland, My Maryland".

I did a one take version, singing while strumming my Big Baby Taylor guitar. I recorded it through my SP1 mic, into Mixcraft 5, via Cl1 interface. I added a second guitar track and a touch of 'verb.

Here's the story:

The current state song of Maryland is called "Maryland, My Maryland". It was a poem written in 1861, at the beginning of the U. S. Civil War, by a Marylander living in New Orleans. When the South began seceding from the Union, the guy wrote a poem pleading for Maryland to join the revolt. (Maryland was a slave holding state that stayed in the Union during the war. We never did join the Confederacy.) The poem was put to the music of the Christmas classic "O Tannenbaum (O, Christmas Tree)" and quickly became popular in the South during the war. It became our state song in 1936, mainly because people liked the refrain "Maryland, my Maryland".

But these days many Marylanders find the song distasteful. The lyrics refer to President Lincoln as a tyrant and the North as "scum". Also, despite denials by some, the South was fighting for the right to hold slaves and that's not a very popular sentiment these days.

There have been many efforts to change the lyrics over the years and I was reading that a legislator was going to try again in the upcoming session in January, 2016. She is going to introduce a bill to have the lyrics changed to ones written by a guy named John T. White. His are pretty sappy and except for the mention of the Chesapeake Bay, you wouldn't know the song was about Maryland. So I thought I'd give some lyrics a try.

I came up with a pretty strong song, if I must say so myself. My lyrics have many specific references to Maryland (see below). I submitted them to the said legislator and she said she would change the language of bill to say that if the General Assembly didn't like White's lyrics than they could consider others or hold a contest and she would include my lyrics as an example of other versions. That's a start. I'm trying to get my legislator to introduce a competing bill to have the lyrics changed to my (better) version of the song.

So that's the story. I'll keep you posted on any updates as it goes along.

Here are the lyrics with annotation on what certain lines mean.

Thanks for any listens!

Maryland, My Maryland

(To the tune: "O Tannenbaum" )

By Sean Tully

From rounded mountains highest crest,
Maryland, my Maryland.
To ocean beaches, we are blessed,
Maryland, my Maryland.
From city street to fertile farm,
The Chesapeake's abundant charm,
We pledge to shield you from all harm,
Maryland, my Maryland.

Where grand white oaks grow gracefully,
Maryland, my Maryland.
Where blue crabs swim so beautifully,
Maryland, my Maryland.
Where thoroughbreds graze rolling hills,
Where Black-Eyed Susan simply thrills,
Your nature awes, your bounty spills,
Maryland, my Maryland.

Through every season you enthrall,
Maryland, my Maryland.
Your loveliness inspires all,
Maryland, my Maryland.
You are the place our hearts will stay,
You're where we live, learn, work, and play,
And may it always be that way,
Maryland, my Maryland.

Our many paths have led us here,
Maryland, my Maryland.
Our valiant past we treasure dear,
Maryland, my Maryland.
You are the home to truly brave,
When country called your children gave,
Forever may your bold flag wave,
Maryland, my Maryland.

With faith and freedom tightly bound,
Maryland, my Maryland.
We've built today on solid ground,
Maryland, my Maryland.
Where equal rights are fair and just,
And tyranny lies in the dust,
Our liberties, our sacred trust,
Maryland, my Maryland.

With gentle words strong deeds are done,
Maryland, my Maryland.
The Old Line holds and stands as one,
Maryland, my Maryland.
Into the future we will stride
With rich traditions as our guide,
O!, know this Free State is our pride,
Maryland, my Maryland.

Copyright 2015 Sean Tully
All Rights Reserved

Annotations:

First stanza: Maryland has mountains in the western part of the state. They are rounded and not peaked, like the Rockies. They were once peaked but time and tide have worn them down.

Maryland has two ocean beaches.

Maryland is a very urban state, but also has plenty of farmland.

The Chesapeake Bay...enough said.

The original song refers to Maryland's shield so this is a nod to that.

Stanza two: Maryland's state tree is the white oak. Maryland is famous for blue crabs. The Latin-Greek meaning of blue crab is "beautiful swimmer".

The Thoroughbred is the state horse. Maryland is known for horse racing and we hold the Preakness Stakes every year.

Black-eyed Susan is our state flower.

Stanza three: Maryland has four distinct seasons.

Stanza four: I didn't want to start naming all the different famous people and events in Maryland history, so I wrote lines that would cover everyone.

Maryland has perhaps one of the most distinctive flags of any state. The Maryland State website refers to our flag as "bold," so I used that word to describe it.

Stanza five: Maryland was founded by Catholics declaring that the place would be one where religious freedom and personal freedoms would be respected.

Stanza six: Maryland's state slogan is "Manly deeds, womanly words" or "Strong deeds, gentle words".

One of Maryland's two mottos is "The Old Line State". It is believed that Gen. Washington called his Maryland troops his "old line" as they held in an important battle (I forget all the details).

Maryland has many rich and long traditions.

The other state motto is "The Free State". Nobody really knows where it came from. It may have to do with the Civil War, or, some believe it has to do with our stance against prohibition back in the 1920s. In any event, it's one of our mottos.
Last edited by The Cracks on Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:54 am, edited 16 times in total.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by Lungfruit » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:12 pm

Well Sean you sure have a talent for lyrics. I don't have anything to say about the recording since you know it's not your best. I like your words, but I think the tempo should be a little faster or upbeat.

I hope you win if they end up having a contest!

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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by gwood » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:35 pm

Now you're going to have to go to all these official functions and lead the choir. Ah, well, small price to pay for securing your legacy. I wrote a song about NJ years ago when they were having a state song contest, but never submitted it. It was called, "There's More To New Jersey Than The Turnpike." Yeah, right, there's the Parkway. No chance of winning.

But, I agree with Glenn, I might have done it a little brighter and snappier. Not too, but a little. No matter, your demo gets the idea across very well.

It's a great piece of writing. The only little stumble I heard was in the line, "Where blue crabs swim beautifully." You seemed to falter a bit trying to stretch the line to fit. I think you can smooth that out just by saying, '...so beautifully.' Actually, if I'm being honest, I'd find something else to say about the crabs, they're not known for beautiful swimming. I guess I'd suggest 'abundantly' instead. And you wouldn't need the 'so.'

Some people get offended by this kind of comment, but for what it's worth, did you mean a legislator, i.e., a person who makes laws, rather than "legislature," a body of lawmakers? Also, editorial comments are usually in [brackets] rather than (parentheses); for asides or quotes within the bracketed section, switch to parentheses. Sorry!
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by The Cracks » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:00 am

Thanks for listen and comments Lungfruit and gwood.

Yes, the recording isn't the best.

gwood - I did mean "legislator" (and have corrected it). I should have just used the word delegate but my mind is blocked up from a lot of writing lately.

The problem with some of your suggestions is (and I didn't mention this in the original post) the original song has 8 syllables per line (except for the refrain), so I had to keep each line in that structure. The word "beautifully" is four syllables, although when most people say it, it sounds like only three. So when I sang it I think I was trying to emphasize the four syllables, but, hopefully, if others sing it they will say the word more naturally and I think it will fit okay. I think it works better in the youtube version.

Here is the deleted video. It's more formal to show the song can be sung at ceremonies, etc. I used a public domain version of the song and sang to it. It's not great but it gets the point across.

Regarding your statement "I'd find something else to say about the crabs, they're not known for beautiful swimming," in fact, as I said in the original post, the Latin/Greek meaning of the words Callinectes sapidus
(blue crab) is "beautiful swimmer". There is a Pulitzer Prize winning book about life on the Chesapeake called Beautiful Swimmers and the opening is about how crabs looks so funny on land but when they are in the water they swim rather gracefully. So my line was a play on all that stuff.

I couldn't find a quote from the book I mentioned, but here is something on the subject:

"“Beautiful Swimmers”

"The scientific name for the blue crab is Callinectes sapides. Callinectes is derived from Latin and Greek. “Calli” translates to “beautiful” and “nectes” translates to “swimmer.” The species name, “sapidus,” translates to “savory.” Thus the scientific name for the blue crab translates to savory beautiful swimmer. Anyone who is familiar with the blue crab will agree that this is an appropriate name."

www.baydreaming.com.

As for the New Jersey state song, they must not have picked one in that contest as New Jersey is the only state without a state song. So maybe you should write a new one and use the fact that the state doesn't have one as your selling point.
Last edited by The Cracks on Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:31 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by The Cracks » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:05 am

Update: I wrote an op-ed piece about why the state should change the lyrics to our state song and why they should use mine, and I submitted it to the Baltimore Sun newspaper, the main daily in the state. The op-ed included the lyrics. I was told that they plan on publishing my piece. I'll let you know when/if they do. (The reason I am hesitant about this is that they were going to publish one my wife did many years ago and it just never showed up. Events change things and if something big happens in the next few weeks all the op-ed's will be toward that and they could just drop mine. We'll see.)
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by gwood » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:35 am

The Cracks wrote:Regarding your statement "I'd find something else to say about the crabs, they're not known for beautiful swimming," in fact, as I said in the original post...
Whoops, sorry for not reading closely.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by Markdog » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:35 pm

Hi Sean,

Don't you have a level 2 hurricane predicted to head your way in a few days?? You near the coast?

I was hoping you'd squeeze a few more Maryland, My Maryland's in it. :lol:

I like it, nice clean sound and vocals sound great. Really good recording.

It's a fitting tribute to your state and really well thought out and written.

Haven't the feds taken all your rights away down there already?
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by The Cracks » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:50 pm

Thanks for listen and comments, Mark.

Yes, we have a hurricane churning out there somewhere. Not sure where it's hitting yet.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Updated lyrics and new recording - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by The Cracks » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:24 pm

My op-ed appeared in today's Baltimore Sun. You can read it online at: Baltimore Sun.

Thanks.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Updated lyrics and new recording - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by Jim_Fogle » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:47 pm

Nice op-ed. Very well considered and written. Did the Sun edit it very much?

On the other hand, the Sun's website has to be one of the most tablet unfriendly website I have seen. With a banner advertisement for the paper covering the top third of the screen, a second banner advertising football tickets on the bottom of the screen it is a squeeze play to be able to read the op-ed.

Just happy the hurricane, high wind gusts, beach erosion and rain storm did not push your op-ed off into limbo land.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Updated lyrics and new recording - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by The Cracks » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:35 pm

Thanks Jim for reading it. Yes, the Sun's website is horrible on home computers. It works great on my cell phone.

They edited to clean it up a bit. They didn't change any of my ideas or words to any extent. I'm not the greatest at proper English, so, yes, they did correct any of my errors.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Updated lyrics and new recording - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by dickl » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:35 am

Fine work Sean.

I had no idea what Maryland is like (except maybe via The Wire!) but the lyrics paint a interesting picture of your state. I really appreciate the explanation as the references would have been lost on me.

I can certainly imagine a stadium singing this passionately.

Good luck in getting it accepted.

Cheers

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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Updated lyrics and new recording - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by The Cracks » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:10 pm

Thanks for listen and comments, Dick. I appreciate it.

Update: I went to Annapolis (our state capital) this morning to attend a Maryland State Archives panel on changing our state song. I was told of the meeting and thankfully I could attend. The Archives were charged by the General Assembly to give advice on changing the lyrics to the state song. This wasn't done because of my work, but was already in the process and I didn't know about it. Thank goodness I got my lyrics in as they were in the official handout (as was my op-ed). The panel consisted of a bunch of PhD's and scholars.

The long and short of it is that the chances my song will be used are slight, but not impossible. The panel agreed that the current tune should probably be kept (that's good for me). They believed the current lyrics should be dropped (another good for me). They will meet again at the end of October to discuss what any new lyrics should contain (another good for me, as it keeps mine alive). They may suggest to the state to drop the lyrics altogether and just keep the music as the state song for a number of years and come back to it later (not so good for me now, but nothing saying my lyrics wouldn't be used in a couple of years). So, all in all, I'm still in the fight!
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Updated lyrics and new recording - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by Wolfini » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:21 pm

Hey, that is great to hear! Keeping my fingers crossed for your success! Still I have to admit that the concept of a christmas song as state anthem still seems a bit strange to me... but perhaps that song is more popular over here (every child learns it as the first christmas song) than where you live.

Good luck, Bye Wolfi
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Updated lyrics and new recording - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by dickl » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:18 am

It's encouraging you've got this far Sean. Good luck and keep us updated.

Wolfi - the tune as we know it in the UK is a left wing rallying call that all good socialist parents would teach their children ;) . Keep The Red Flag Flying Here. I'm not sure how many would know the song O Tannebaum!
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Updated lyrics and new recording - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by The Cracks » Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:42 am

Wolfi - Thanks for listen and comments (see your song for my complete comments).

Thanks for that info Dick. As I said on Wolfi's song thread, many songs are created from other songs. The U. S. National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner) is from an old German drinking tune, I believe.

Update: I said before that the original "Maryland, my Maryland" has 8 syllables per line (except for the refrain), but that is not correct. I found one line (second stanza) that has 9 syllables. So my 9 syllable line "Where Blue Crabs swim so beautifully" is in keeping with the original (and I didn't even know it!).
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Updated lyrics and new recording - org lyrics - SP1, Cl1, Mixcraft 5.

Post by M.T.Pilot » Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:24 pm

In a way, this seems doesn't sound like a The Cracks song. Your singing is kind of different. Not different in a bad way, b.t.w.
But what is up with the sound quality? I have heard far better recordings from you.
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