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

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

Post by nanrye » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:28 pm

Sorry this a bit late since I've been away for a while.I don't think you are looking for comments on the mix since you said this is just a demo. I have to say though, this has great lyrics and I hope you achieved your goals for this piece. :^:
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - New recording, new lyrics, SP1, Cl1,MC5

Post by The Cracks » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:45 am

Here is a link to new version of "Maryland, My Maryland":

Maryland, My Maryland

So, the story continues.

Briefly, Maryland's State Song is an old Confederate States of American anthem (although Maryland did not succeed from the Union during the Civil War). It became our State Song in 1936 or so, mostly because people like singing the "Maryland, My Maryland" part. There have been efforts in the past to change the lyrics to the song.

This year, a Delegate has a bill to change the lyrics to a version of the song written by John T. White, a school teacher who penned his version in 1896. As you may know, I wrote a new version, which, I might add, is so much better than White's. But the Delegate really wants White's version because White lived in her area.

Well, the Maryland State Archives did a report on the song and decided that the best way to go would be to include a stanza of the current State Song (by James Randall) and a stanza from White's version. It's all politics. The leader of the Maryland Senate likes the current version and the Delegate likes White's, so they agreed to split the difference. I was cut out of the deal as I have no voice (my Delegate sucks and didn't represent me at all, and I have no money or power. This is the way American politics works.

And, please note, one of the Maryland State Archives suggestions is that the song should be short (one stanza, two at the most). Why? I can't say. But that is how the song is going to be.

Here are the two stanzas they want to use as our new State Song:

(Randall's song - one of the stanzas to our current State Song)

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Maryland!
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Maryland!
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Howard's warlike thrust,
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!

A stanza from White's version:

Sail on, sail on thou Ship of State,
Maryland, my Maryland.
May we thy children make thee great,
Maryland, my Maryland.
May gratitude our heart possess,
And boldly we thy claims express,
And bow in loving thankfulness,
Maryland, my Maryland.

There are several problems with this compromise that I will discuss briefly.

The first problem is that Randall's version mentions Carroll (a signer of the Declaration of Independence) and Howard (a Maryland war hero). They are both worthy of being in our song, no doubt. But they were also both slave owners.

The other problem is that the two stanzas do not have the same rhyme scheme, as you can clearly see. The song will not sing smoothly. As songwriters, we all know one of the first rules of songwriting is that once you establish a rhyme scheme you do not change it up or you will lose the listener.

So, my solution was to combine the two stanzas into one (meeting the Maryland State Archives "short" rule and their requirement that both the Randall and White versions be used) and dropped Howard from the song and included another Maryland (and American) hero, Harriet Tubman. She not only freed herself from slavery but lead many others to freedom as well. She was also a civil rights leader and a advocate for women's equal rights. And, to be frank, she was a woman, so naming her along with a man equals things out a bit.

Here is my revision:

Sail on, sail on thou Ship of State,
Maryland, my Maryland.
May we thy children make thee great,
Maryland, my Maryland.
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Tubman, strong and just,
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Maryland, my Maryland.


I've submitted this revision to the Maryland General Assembly and I will testify on the change on 02/10/16. So, while I am down I am not out of the game yet!

For the recording I used music from the U. S. Marine Corps Band (public domain). I recorded my vocals into my SP1 mic, via Cl1 interface, into Mixcraft 5, where I did a little reverb. It's not a great recording but it gets the message across, I think.

Thanks for any listens and comments.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - New recording, new lyrics, SP1, Cl1,MC5

Post by Jim_Fogle » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:01 pm

Perhaps you should consider running for office and displacing the current representative that has forgotten how to represent constituents. You certainly have a passion for Maryland and if you express yourself as well February 10 as you do in this forum I believe you would have a decent chance of winning.

It has been interesting reading these posts and learning the history behind the lyrics.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - New recording, new lyrics, SP1, Cl1,MC5

Post by Lungfruit » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:12 pm

I think it has all the elements of a good state song; familiar melody, one key, no drastic timing changes. I don't understand some of the references, but then again...I"m not from Maryland! :D Good luck and let us know how it goes! Glenn
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - New recording, new lyrics, SP1, Cl1,MC5

Post by nanrye » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:22 pm

For me, it looks like you achieved fusing both stanzas into one while keeping the rhyme scheme. How will the supporters of Howard react though? Like you said, it's politics and people make too much fuzz about every single thing. I hope you will get the support you need. Good luck on this venture.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - New recording, new lyrics, SP1, Cl1,MC5

Post by The Cracks » Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:51 pm

Thanks everyone for listen and comments. I will keep you posted on any updates.

It's a long shot but my timing couldn't be better. There is a move in Maryland to remove Confederate monuments from public places, so we'll see. While most consider Maryland a Northeast state in modern times, it was stuck between the North and the South back in the 19th Century. We were industrial like the North but had a plantation system (tobacco mostly) that relied on slaves. We never left the Union during the Civil War but we had troops that fought on both sides. We are the only state that has both a Union and Confederate monument at the Gettysburg National Battlefield. The Senate President likes the current song but he has agreed to allow some changes. If I can get the Baltimore area Democrats on my side then I might have a shot.

I'm hoping to actually sing my version at the hearing. It will be my biggest open mic performance ever!

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - New recording, new lyrics, SP1, Cl1,MC5

Post by voclizr » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:08 pm

I'm coming in late on this so I didn't read all of the backstory. I didn't realize until now that the Maryland state song was to the old O'Tannenbaum, but the words are very inspiring. Is the twist on the second "my" the way it's usually sang or is that your own twist? Anyway, you did this well, but I'm missing the regular bag of goodies you once were accustom to. I went through a similar "writer's block" more than once. I hope it's temporary for you and you can eventually get back to the prolific way you used to be.

BTW-After listening to your song I looked up Pennsylvania's state song. The folks who wrote these sure had great lyrical command.

:D :^:
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - New recording, new lyrics, SP1, Cl1,MC5

Post by The Cracks » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:26 pm

I gave my testimony yesterday and it went well. They even let me sing my version of the song and several delegates and audience sang along. It made several papers around the state and even the History Channel mentioned the hearing.

Here is a Youtube video of my testimony. The singing starts around the 5:20 mark or so:

Maryland, My Maryland hearing

I mumble and the audio isn't great, but they knew what I was saying as they had copies of my written testimony.

Here is one headline:

Committee hearing on state song attracts impromptu sing-alongs

Frederick News-Post

All in all a good day. Several delegates liked my version but the odds of getting them to change it are slight as the sponsor of the bill (the first delegate who ask me a question after I'm done singing) is dead set against changing the language in her bill. We'll see.

Thanks V for comments. I thought I wasn't doing much either and then it dawned on me that I've actually been writing and recording a lot over the last five months or so, but it has all been different versions of this song. I'll bet since the fall I've written ten different versions of the song and made maybe six or so different recordings. I'm probably more active than I've been in years! :D If they include me in the State Song, I'm sure I'll be doing much more as all this stuff will actually have some purpose and meaning. If they block me out than I am pretty sure I am done with songwriting, recording. This is my last hurrah.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Update 02/11/16

Post by Wolfini » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:35 am

I just watched your Youtube video, and I think you really made a great performance there. Congratulations!

But it would be a shame if you let something like this stop you from continuing with your songwriting.

Bye Wolfi
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Update 03/23/16 - new live recording.

Post by The Cracks » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:00 pm

Still at the recording game, albeit all the same song over and over...

I made a live recording of "Maryland, My Maryland (revised)" last night at an open mic. It wasn't a big crowd but they were enthusiastic. It was recorded on my LG phone and mixed in MX5. It's not too bad for a quickie.

When people hear the story behind the song they really respond to it in a positive way.

Here is the recording (it's Youtube, audio only, for now): "Maryland, My Maryland (revised)"

The latest on the song is that the Maryland Senate did not consider my song when voting. The President of the Senate runs the show in the Maryland General Assembly and he really likes the old Confederate anthem so they went with a revised song that changed that as little as possible.

But I'm still in the game. A delegate in the Maryland House really likes my version and she's going to fight for it when it comes up on the House side any day now. While I'm down, I'm not out yet! My best hope is that my song becomes the State Song, of course, but, short of that, the best I can hope for is that the entire bill dies and my advocate delegate can bring it up again next year. We'll see.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Update 03/23/16 - new live recording.

Post by dickl » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:26 pm

Inspirational stuff Sean.

I think it sounds good. I like the non-judgemental aspect of the lyrics and your delivery has real honesty.

Good work and good luck.

Cheers

Dick
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Update 03/23/16 - new live recording.

Post by Lungfruit » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:52 pm

Keep at it Sean. I've listened to this so many times I think this IS the state song. :) As I've said before, I think it would make a great state song. I admire your dedication to it also. I get so sick of my own stuff after working on it for a couple weeks that I have to put it away.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Update 04/02/16 - last update for now.

Post by The Cracks » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:29 am

Well, I guess I can say I lost the battle but won the war.

The bill to revise our state song "Maryland, My Maryland" has died in the General Assembly. That's bad news for me as it means my version will not become the state song. But, my efforts to stop the state from adopting another revision is what killed the bill, so it's good news for me in that it means enough delegates liked my version to "put the breaks on" (to use a delegate's words) the state using the version that wasn't mine, if that makes sense.

Here are the typical headlines on the subject:

Move stalls to change Maryland state song from Civil War era

By Brian Witte | AP March 31

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A bill to revise the state song of Maryland to remove Civil War-era references to “Northern scum” and other phrases deemed offensive has stalled in the state House, a leading lawmaker said Thursday.

Democratic Del. Peter Hammen of Baltimore said he won’t bring the bill to a vote in the committee he chairs because colleagues told him they need more time to consider what to do with the song “Maryland, My Maryland.” The song was written in 1861 at the outset of the Civil War and was adopted by Maryland in 1939.


The Washington Post

I can't say how this will turn out next year. They may decide to go with mine or they may decide to have a contest. Most likely they will decide to do nothing until the Senate President who loves the current pro-Confederacy ballad retires, which may be 2018. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for all the support I received from everyone. I appreciate it.

I'm not sure what this means for my future songwriting. I think I'll break out the piano again. I really don't get much out of playing guitar any more. We'll see.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" - Update 04/02/16 - last update for now.

Post by Jim_Fogle » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:45 am

Sean,

Think about what you've done. You've stopped a bunch of politicians from doing what they want to do. You made them think. You let them remember the public watches and considers everything they do. You put them on notice.

Passage of the bill was most likely considered a formality in the beginning. Now you can point to the inaction and say, "I caused that to not happen". Not bad for one private citizen.

Most of all, you got involved. More of us need to follow your leadership. I commend you sir!
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" (Update 08/31/17 - new versions/new recordings)

Post by The Cracks » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:51 am

Latest news on the Maryland State Song issue:

The long and short of it is that I wrote a revised version of our current pro-Confederate State Song that removes all the pro-Confederate stuff and adds a line honoring Maryland hero, Harriet Tubman. My delegate to the Maryland General Assembly put a bill in to make my version of the State Song the official one. I think the bill would have stayed under the radar enough to not get a lot of attention or pushback from opponents and then would have become law because the change to the song would have been so slight that only the most partisan politician would have voted against it.

But then the violence in Charlottesville, VA, happened. Now the State Song is a big issue in Maryland again. There is going to be a big battle over whether the song should be revised or replaced altogether. I think (and I've told my delegate) that the replacing the song with a new one argument is probably the best one since even my revision keeps some of the old original song. But my delegate is smart. He's keeping my bill in just in case everything falls apart in the General Assembly and they can't get the votes to scrap the song for a new one. He says they can fall back on my work which will be a big improvement from what we have now.

My delegate and his bill are mentioned in this Baltimore Sun article:

"Delegate Antonio Hayes said he would sponsor legislation to change the state song to honor Harriet Tubman, the Dorchester County native who freed dozens of enslaved people via the Underground Railroad."

That's my song he's talking about.

Below are two recordings of my revised version of "Maryland, My Maryland". The song is very short (one stanza), but that is inline with what the State is looking for (it's a long story - check out wikipedia for the full history).

Maryland, My Maryland (Formal)

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

Post by Jim_Fogle » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:08 pm

The violence in Charlottesville, VA surely has every politician and citizen thinking "please, not here".

I admire the way you've worked within the system. Toppling the statue in Durham, NC reminds everyone state sponsored anything can be a hot button issue. Working within the system is much more productive.
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Re: "Maryland, My Maryland" (Update 09/02/17 - new versions/new recordings/new bill)

Post by The Cracks » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:20 pm

Thanks Jim.

It's going to be a battle royal as there are many opinions out there. Already in the last few days one newspaper in the state called for the current state song to be trashed (music and lyrics) while another is calling for new lyrics but keep the music. My song may be sitting in the perfect position to be used in case a compromise is needed because it has a little of everything to make everyone happy - it keeps some of the current song but also changes the lyrics a bit.
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