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Thread: Taps

  1. #1
    Registered User Free Member dogone45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002


    I received this email from a WWII Marine and thought this would be a good place to pass it on:

    If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps were played; this brings out a new meaning of it Here is something EVERY AMERICAN should know.


    We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, "Taps." It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes. But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings.

    Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention.

    Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment. When the Captain finally reached his own lines,
    he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.

    The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.

    The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.

    The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. The Captain chose a Bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.

    This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as "Taps" used at military funerals was born.

    The words are:

    Day is done ...
    Gone the sun ...
    From the lakes...
    From the hills
    From the sky ...
    All is well ...
    Safely rest...
    God is nigh ..
    Fading light ...
    Dims the sight ...
    And a star...
    Gems the sky
    Gleaming bright ...
    From afar ...
    Drawing nigh ...
    Falls the night
    Thanks and praise ...
    For our days ...
    Neath the sun ...
    Neath the stars...
    Neath the sky ...
    As we go ....
    This we know ...
    God is nigh

    I, too, have felt the chills while listening to "Taps" but I have never seen all the words to the song until now. I didn't even know there was more than one verse. I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before.


    And also those presently serving in the Armed Forces... Please send this on after a short prayer for our soldiers.

  2. #2
    That is correct dogone45, it brings chills every time I hear it, especially when my dad passed away in March of this year when our VFW unit did his military honors burial detail. SEMPER FI!!

  3. #3
    I can say the same....It bothered me when they played them for my husbands funeral in March........Understood what my husband meant when he heard them..........


  4. #4
    Registered User Free Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Taps - History

    For a little insider info on the history of taps, try:


    More info available at:


    or go to:


    All said and done, I do not know which hits me harder, faster; Taps, or Amazing Grace on bagpipes... Who am I kidding... they both can tear at me...

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