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Anzac Day Taps.


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Here is the text Ray

What is the true story behind Taps


From Gilbert Bliss

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 also never knew the story behind the song and

I didn't know if you had either so I thought I'd pass it along.

I now have an even deeper respect for the song

than I did before.

We have all heard the haunting song, "Taps."

It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats

and usually creates tears in our eyes.

But, do you know the story behind the song?

If not, I think you will be delighted to

find out about it's humble beginnings.

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 mortally

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,

he 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.

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 found it on this website

It is just another hoax email, a story like the ones charities make up to make you feel compelled to donate.

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source: usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/a/tapshistory.htm

History of Taps

Information Courtesy of United States Army Center for Military History

Of all the military bugle calls, none is so easily recognized or more apt to render emotion than Taps. Up to the Civil War, the traditional call at day's end was a tune, borrowed from the French, called Lights Out. In July of 1862, in the aftermath of the bloody Seven Days battles, hard on the loss of 600 men and wounded himself, Union General Daniel Adams Butterfield called the brigade bugler to his tent. He thought "Lights Out" was too formal and he wished to honor his men.

Oliver Wilcox Norton, the bugler, tells the story, "...showing me some notes on a staff written in pencil on the back of an envelope, (he) asked me to sound them on my bugle. I did this several times, playing the music as written. He changed it somewhat, lengthening some notes and shortening others, but retaining the melody as he first gave it to me.

After getting it to his satisfaction, he directed me to sound that call for Taps thereafter in place of the regulation call. The music was beautiful on that still summer night and was heard far beyond the limits of our Brigade. The next day I was visited by several buglers from neighboring Brigades, asking for copies of the music which I gladly furnished. The call was gradually taken up through the Army of the Potomac."

This more emotive and powerful Taps was soon adopted throughout the military. In 1874 It was officially recognized by the U.S. Army. It became standard at military funeral ceremonies in 1891. There is something singularly beautiful and appropriate in the music of this wonderful call. Its strains are melancholy, yet full of rest and peace. Its echoes linger in the heart long after its tones have ceased to vibrate in the air.

The origin of the word "Taps" is thought to have come from the Dutch word for "Tattoo"- "Taptoe." More than likely, "Taps" comes from the the three drum taps that were played as a signal for "Extinguish Lights" when a bugle was not used. As with many other customs, the twenty-four notes that comprise this solemn tradition began long ago and continue to this day.

While there are no official lyrics for Taps, the following unofficial verse (author unknown) is often used:

Fading light dims the sight,

And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.

From afar drawing nigh -- Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,

From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;

All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Then good night, peaceful night,

Till the light of the dawn shineth bright;

God is near, do not fear -- Friend, good night.

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