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By Dahni

© 2016, all rights reserved


The True Origins of the beloved TAPS began in 1862. It was used by the armies of the North and adopted by those of the South, during the American Conflict of the States. Since that time and over time, it has been used by all branches of the military and familiar to everyone that has ever served or serves in the present now. It’s simple 24 note tones are recognized the world over as the song of the United States military and a wholly USA original. When it is played the world over, almost everyone the world over, know where it’s from.

It was a simple call to “lights out” that the “day was” done, to “go to sleep” and rest. It was and remains a peaceful and joyful sound. And even though it is played exactly the same at a funeral and takes on a more somber feeling, its message is still the same, “work is done with the setting sun and to sleep, whether temporal or yet lingering until, all are called home! Its message remains. The work of a soldier is always freedom and freedom is— NOT YET done.

On November 22nd, 1963, it was played for the fallen Commander and Chief, President John F. Kennedy. It was a cold day and cold can effect the buglers instrument. This buglar had to play when over 20 million people would hear. Whether the cold or nervousness or both played a part, the bugle ‘cracked’ a note. Now in folklore, that moment when the nation felt the sting it was as if freedom had been cracked. But like the Liberty Bell was cracked, freedom still rings, the bugler still plays, the bugle call out, rest now, your work is done for now, the day is done, gone the sun, but freedom is NOT YET done!!

TAPS (the lyrics)

The lyrics of TAPS can NOT be attributed to anyone with any authority. So, the original author remains, “unknown.” There are many versions and lines used for many purposes. What are the most common and most often used to accompany the bugler’s call 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 near
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.

Take your rest all you soldiers now and past. Take your rest in peace and for joy, for now the day is done, gone with the sun, your day is done and daily work is done, but your work of freedom is, NOT yet done!

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