Comments: America's Most Weirdly-Shaped State Does It Again
"Maryland Welcomes You: Please Drive Gently"

Damn my eyes! I always thought it directed me to Please Drive Through. It stumped me how they knew.

Posted by Ted at April 13, 2007 06:45 PM

Someone wanted to change the state song because it was too gory and too anti-union or something, so someonoe - I think at the Bal'mar Sun - suggested these lyrics:

We've got some hills, we've got some trees, we sing in four-part harmonies;
There's shopping malls and city halls, and cats and dogs and ponds with frogs;
But none of us has ever meant to overthrow the government.
From Baltimore to Hagerstown, just take your car and drive around.

We're near the nation's capital, but we are not stuck up at all,
So take a stand and shake the hand of every crab in Maryland.
We touch four states and several bays, the highways mostly run both ways,
We hope you come and say hello and maybe stop and spend some dough.

When I was ten my family moved here from Vest Virginia;
I went to school in Annapolis, I studied Greek and calculus,
Am now I live in Baltimore and that's what Maryland is for.
Oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland.

I have a dog whose name is Jack, I threw a stick, he brought it back.
My sister had a cat, I think, my mother had a kitchen sink.
My father Was a decent man, and we all lived in Maryland.
Oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland.

Our nights are dark, our days are fair, we're right next door to Delaware.
Our song before was full of gore but we heard the Union won the war.
We're sorry if we made you mad, it was the only song we had.
Oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland, oh Maryland.

Posted by Avedon at April 13, 2007 06:53 PM

I'm not from Maryland, but a friend of mine from Md. insists that the real state motto is

"at least we're not in Delaware."

But I have no way of assessing the veracity of this.

Posted by Jonathan Versen at April 13, 2007 07:02 PM

I am not from Maryland either, but I believe that its motto is “Manly Deeds, Womanly Words.”

I read somewhere that Don Imus penned it.


Posted by Bernard Chazelle at April 13, 2007 07:10 PM

I would just like to say that Bernard Chazelle's comments are very funny! I am often deterred from leaving a comment here by his comments, which seem so much wittier than my own half-formed ideas.

Jon - you should totally ban him.

Posted by Aaron Datesman at April 13, 2007 07:29 PM

My God, living wages, what a concept! I truly enjoyed the arguments against it and am now waiting for the world to end in a big puff-ball. You must be a bunch of commies or something.

I have lived in too many states to consider myself a native so I have been living in a state of confusion instead which is where I feel the most comfortable. Actually I live in California which is the same thing really. Ahhnult says hi. Just think of it, we gave you Richard Nixon AND Ronnie Rayguns.

Now I live in a small town that does not appear on any maps anywhere which is probably for the best. Everyone drives very large pickup trucks with bumper stickers that say “America, pride in power.” Our state flower is the marijuana bud but you are not supposed to smoke it. Instead everyone smokes Jack Daniels. No one here really works though the main industry seems to be meth labs. Most people drive quite fast.

The original name of my town was Dog Town but it got changed to Magalia, a result of someone misspelling Magnolia. The first gold nugget was found here, it is our claim to fame. The local vet will be closed on the 28th because it is Gold Nugget day.

The banana slug was nominated to be California’s state mollusk but it never passed. Too bad as it is quite a handsome slug in my opinion, one of natures more noble creatures really.

Our state song is if you feel horny then move to Californy.

Posted by rob payne at April 14, 2007 02:04 AM

No, Delaware is. Maryland is unusual, but all of its borders are either straight lines or follow geographically indicated lines. Delaware is the only state that has a boundary that is a segment of a circle.

Posted by mim song at April 14, 2007 09:38 AM

Why does Virginia get the tip of that peninsula?

Posted by Adam Kotsko at April 14, 2007 11:44 AM

An excellent question, Adam. I feel sure it was covered in fifth grade Virginia history, but I've lost too many brain cells since then to call up the answer. We call that area "the Eastern Shore".

I thought 'Maryland is for crabs' was the coolest move ever by a state tourism industry, and appreciated the gentle jab.

Posted by Nell at April 14, 2007 12:07 PM

in Hagerstown there's a motel that's shaped like a windmill.

Posted by Jonathan Versen at April 15, 2007 02:08 AM

Delaware is the only state that has a boundary that is a segment of a circle.

Aren't you forgetting something on the other side of that border?

Posted by UnclePea at April 15, 2007 12:47 PM

Actually the more precise name for the "that penninsula" is "the Delmarva Penninsula", from DELaware, MARyland and VirginiA. Don't know why Virginia got the tip of Delmarva, but perhaps even more interesting is the history of why the northern border of Delaware was demarcated by surveyors, in part, as an arc of a geometrically-perfect circle. In the exact center of that circle, I'm told, there is a monument sitting in the middle of a traffic circle.

Posted by Joe Tangredi at April 15, 2007 10:59 PM

Don't forget Maryland's entirely bad-ass flag. Also, the best line in any State song ever: "Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!" Take that, New Jersey!

P.S. That semi-circle is the real reason the Mason-Dixon line is so famous. The straight-line part had been done before.

Posted by Andy Imboden at April 17, 2007 10:17 PM

Almost forgot another Maryland song connection: the Star Spangled Banner, composed by native son Francis Scott Key, while he was watching the British attempt to invade Baltimore.

Kurt Vonnegut said that -- out of the one quadrillion nations in the universe -- this song was the only national anthem that was gibberish sprinkled with question marks.

Well done, Maryland. Well done.

Posted by Andy Imboden at April 17, 2007 11:05 PM