October 03, 2003

What Do You Know?

About military bugle calls...

Bugle calls were meant to signal soldiers and could be heard over the noise of battle and across long distances. There were no words to be sung with the calls.

You can go to this site and hear some bugle calls.

Taps, which has no official words, may have originated as part of the early French call, the Tattoo. The Tattoo was used to summon soldiers from the taverns to return to base. The military police would sound the call, which signaled tavern keepers to shut off the taps.

Here are different "lyrics" to Taps:

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.

The origin of Taps is still debatable, but the most accepted story is that Daniel Adams Butterfield created the call during the Civil War. At the time, the Union troops were using the French Lights Out call, which Butterfield thought was too formal. He made some notes longer and some shorter, but otherwise made no changes.

Taps was first played at a military funeral when the CO decided the traditional gun salute would provoke the nearby enemy camp.

England's King George III had a call written to wake the troops. It was named Reveille, from the French "to wake."

French Reveille is La Diana, after the Roman legions' use of Diana's Hymn in the morning.

The most common calls used today include First Call, which you may also hear at the start of horse races.

Here is another site you can check for information on bugle calls.

Posted by Jennifer at October 3, 2003 09:43 AM


Interesting trivia and lyrics on Taps. Do you do any What Do You Know? articles on the origins of everyday cliches?

Posted by: The Bartender at October 3, 2003 12:51 PM

I haven't done a What Do You Know on that, but I have posted factoids on cliches now and then...have any requests?

Posted by: Jennifer at October 3, 2003 03:41 PM

I'll come up with a few and get back to you. Thanks!

Posted by: The Bartender at October 3, 2003 03:44 PM

OK I've got some cliches for you, but first some background. I am in the brainstorming process of starting a blog. The primary subject of said blog will be drinking, as I was in the Restaurant / Nightclub industry for 18 years. With that in mind, here we go:

Hair of the dog that bit you.
Drunk as a skunk.
Drunk as Cooter Brown.
Blind drunk.
Here's mud in your eye.

My all time favorite when someone askes me for a tip: Never pet a burning dog.

Of course appropriate credit and linky-love will be supplied. Thanks!

Posted by: LC Taylor at October 3, 2003 04:07 PM

Jennifer - the previous post was from me, I forgot to change the name. D'oh!

Posted by: The Bartender at October 3, 2003 04:27 PM