Friday, February 22, 2008

Mightier Than the Sword

The Music Education Correspondent (Retired) has written to a local paper, advocating a change to the lyrics of the Maryland State song.

The Home Office’s reply is below.

No wonder they pull you off of airplanes for extra security searches. This is yet another examples of how liberals are ruining this country, with their steadfast refusal to take a chance of offending anyone, as you proudly assert in your letter. (“We are quite certain no one will object.”

First, when did lack of content objectionable to anyone become a virtue? Would we not still writhe under the yoke of English tyranny, were it not for the actions of those willing, through word and deed surely objectionable to Crown sympathizers (“Crown-symphs” as Rush Limbaugh would call them today; except that he’d be one.) to speak out? And you posit this on the 276th anniversary of the birth of the Father of Our Country? Shame on you, and may your next lunch with Michele Obama taste dry and stale in your mouth as you struggle to find reasons to be proud of this country.

Have you done your homework into the origins of the lyrics you find so objectionable? Once again, cherry-picking examples creates misleading imagery. “The despot’s heel is on thy shore;” “Avenge the patriotic gore / That flecked the streets of Baltimore.” Easy to claim to be unobjectionable when the callow reader is denied full access to the facts.

Who is this despot, with his heel upon Maryland’s shore? None other than Abraham Lincoln, savior of the Union, and freer of the slaves. Witness these words, from Verse Six:

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant's chain,
Virginia should not call in vain,
She meets her sisters on the plain-
"Sic semper!" 'tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back amain,
Arise in majesty again.

The “sic semper” used in Line Four is a reference to “Sic semper tyrannis,” (Thus ever to tyrants), and was shouted by John Wilkes Booth as he fled from Ford’s Theater after shooting President Lincoln, whose birthday is also celebrated this month, thus doubling the calumny of your supposedly innocently timed statement.

The words of Maryland, My Maryland are the traitorous hymn of secessionists! Yet you, in your haste to be inoffensive, would but alter them, allowing their hidden meaning to seep through to poison the minds of generations of Marylanders yet unborn. You are not a native Marylander; may your covertly seditious intent have come from some hidden wellspring of liberalism far to the north? I suspect so.

If you find the song so objectionable, endorse its abolishment, as the man it so expressly defames abolished the taint of slavery from its shores with his “despotic heel.” What fear have you that a hidden sleeper cell of Confederate sympathizers will have their feelings hurt? Express the courage of your convictions, but do not blink at the precipice and claim to have crossed.

Not to mention that the tune is from a Christmas Carol, which excludes all of our Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Shinto residents who are just as patriotic as you claim to be.

A German carol, no less. Don’t get me started on World War II.

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