Maryland, My Maryland
Music and Patriotism during the American Civil War
James A. Davis
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
eBook ISBN: 9781496212719
Historians have long treated the patriotic anthems of the American
Civil War as colorful, if largely insignificant, side notes.
Beneath the surface of these songs, however, is a complex story.
"Maryland, My Maryland" was one of the most popular Confederate
songs during the American Civil War, yet its story is full of
ironies that draw attention to the often painful and contradictory
actions and beliefs that were both cause and effect of the war.
Most telling of all, it was adopted as one of a handful of Southern
anthems even though it celebrated a state that never joined the
Confederacy. In Maryland, My Maryland: Music and Patriotism during
the American Civil War James A. Davis illuminates the
incongruities underlying this Civil War anthem and what they reveal
about patriotism during the war. The geographic specificity of the
song's lyrics allowed the contest between regional and national
loyalties to be fought on bandstands as well as battlefields and
enabled "Maryland, My Maryland" to contribute to the shift in
patriotic allegiance from a specific, localized, and material place
to an ambiguous, inclusive, and imagined space. Musical patriotism,
it turns out, was easy to perform but hard to define for Civil
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James A. Davis is a professor of musicology at the School of Music, State University of New York at Fredonia. He is the author of Music along the Rapidan: Civil War Soldiers, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia, 1863–1864 (Nebraska, 2014) and editor of several books, including The Arts and Culture of the American Civil War.
"James Davis sheds light on a crucial but understudied dimension of the conflict: the role of music in inspiring devotion to the causes for which both sides fought. He demonstrates an impressive command of the historical and musicological sources necessary to make his analysis persuasive."—Michael W. Schaefer, professor of English at the University of Central Arkansas and author of A Reader's Guide to the Short Stories of Stephen Crane
"Once again Davis has approached the familiar subject of music in the Civil War with a remarkably fresh take on one of the era's most popular songs. His latest contribution raises the level of academic inquiry and will stimulate new investigations into broader contexts for music that has often been mentioned but seldom taken seriously."—Candace Bailey, professor of musicology at North Carolina Central University and author of Music and the Southern Belle: From Accomplished Lady to Confederate Composer
"Davis's historical acumen is impressive, and, combined with his knowledge of musicology, style, phrasing, and other numerous features of song-making, the reader is treated to a multidimensional view of the song. Maryland, My Maryland is not only readable; it is very enjoyable, even a page-turner. Davis is able to write to both the layman and the scholar without making either of them feel that they are trespassing on foreign ground. Anyone interested in the Civil War—really anyone who cares about the subject—will find great treasures in it."—Randal Allred, professor of English at Brigham Young University–Hawaii