McClellan Poetry: Maryland themes

Another McClellan poetry day and as September approaches, I thought I would develop some Maryland Campaign material for the next few weeks.

The song most closely associated with the Maryland Campaign is the very strange "Maryland, My Maryland." Most of us know it as a hymn-like carol, full of the sombremost Christmas feelings: "O Tannenbaum." It's odd to think of "O Tannenbaum" as a marching song, or as rabble-rousing music. It's doubly odd that modern Marylanders can't get a less Christmasy or rebellious state anthem.

I cannot help but hear the Vienna Boys' Choir singing...

Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,

The lyrics go on and on, so allow me to merely link them here. If you would like an out-of-body musical experience while you read these, you can hear a verse of this sung on a turn-of-the-century Victorola recording here (scroll down and click on the link). I imagine these vocal mannerisms to be very Civil War.

Truth be told, "Maryland, My Maryland" was heartily sung by Rebels in Jackson's Valley Campaign while McClellan was still on the Peninsula. The song gets quite a bit of ink in Randolph Harrison McKim's Recollections. McKim recalls tromping the Valley with Jackson while singing these alternate verses:

Cheer up, brave sons of noble sires,
Of Maryland, my Maryland!
Strike for your altars and your fires,
Maryland, brave Maryland!
The tyrant's power must soon grow less,
Virginia feels for thy distress,
Thy wrongs she surely will redress,
Maryland, brave Maryland!

"When the despot's power is flown,
From Maryland, dear Maryland;
And liberty's regained her throne,
In Maryland, old Maryland;
Then shall her sons once more be free,
Her daughters sing of Liberty,
And close united ever be
Virginia and Maryland.

He records another non-standard set of verses from a newspaper. He does not say if this material was sung:

What will they say down South,
When the story there is told,
Of deeds of might, for Southern right,
Done by the brave and bold?
Of Lincoln, proud in springtime,
Humbled ere summer's sun?
They'll say, ' 'Twas like our noble South,'
They'll say, ' 'Twas bravely done.'

"What will they say down South,
When hushed in awe and dread,
Fond hearts, through all our happy homes,
Think of the mighty dead?
And muse in speechless agony
O'er father, brother, son?
They'll say in our dear gallant South,
'God's holy will be done!'

"What will they say down South,
The matron and the maid,
When withered, widow'd hearts have found
The price that each has paid,
The gladness that their homes have lost
For all the glory won?
They'll say in our dear, noble South,
'God's holy will be done!'

'What will they say down South?
Our names both night and day
Are in their hearts, and on their lips,
When they laugh, or weep, or pray.
They watch on earth, they plead with Heaven,
Then foremost to the fight!
Who droops or fears when Davis cheers,
And God defends the right!"

Sorry to say that although I believe there to be a Union version of this song, I have not found it yet. Let me close with a bit of a mystery: something called the "My Maryland March." Whether this is that Union adaptation I have been searching for, I don't know. There's no Tannenbaum about it at all. It seems to be a Civil war piece, beyond which all is mystery. Do listen to it in this unearthly turn-of-the-century recording.