|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
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
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.
God is nigh.
Dims the sight.
And a star.
Gems the sky.
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.