Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tempest in a teapot...

There has been some chatter on the blogosphere (mainly the Civil War ones) and newspaper websites about the bill to change the lyrics of the Maryland State Anthem, "Maryland, My Maryland."

The 1861 lyrics were, as noted in the article, written by an out of towner and reflect the passion of a moment in time rather than the history of the Free State.

I also would like to point out how much of a flop it was out in Western Maryland. In 1862 the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia invaded Maryland under the mistaken assumption that the population would rise up in solidarity and kick out the garrison troops. To help enhance the mood of the population, Lee had his bands play this song as they marched across the Potomac, some regiments even sung they lyrics.

Of particular note is the last stanza:

I hear the distant thunder-hum,
Maryland, My Maryland!
The Old Line's bugle, fife, and drum,
Maryland, My Maryland!
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! she burns! she'll come! she'll come!
Maryland! My Maryland!

Basically it was cheer-leading for Maryland to join the Confederacy. While there was support among the eastern side of the state for this, the western side (aka where I grew up) wanted no part of that. The recruits didn't come and the population, while not violently opposed to the presence of the Confederate Army, did not greet them as liberators. This chilly reception was noted in several diaries and letters from the soldiers.

So, given that half of the state didn't care for the song, and as noted in the article, many of the legislators (let alone average citizens) don't know the words...

I say good for the 4th Graders, let's change the lyrics and move on.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen....

Mister Kenny Rogers:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Brooks Was Here...

James Whitmore, 1921-2009

Friday, February 06, 2009

I finally went and did it...

I've been eyeing this DVD box set for months and waited until I got my Borders 30% off coupon to do it. And this morning I finally ordered:

The COMPLETE Granada TV run of Sherlock Holmes starring the late lamented Jeremy Brett. If David Suchet was the definitive Poirot, Brett was the definitive Holmes.