We in the United States have all heard the haunting song "Taps".  It's the song that gives us the 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 it's humble beginnings.

Reportedly, it all began in1862 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 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 denied since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him 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, which we now know as "Taps" used at military funerals, was born
 

 

                                                                                               

 

"Taps Music"

Words to Taps
(Note: there are no "official" words to Taps
below are the most popular.)


Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
'Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.