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Forum topic by degoose posted 11-04-2009 12:22 PM 1557 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7233 posts in 3349 days

11-04-2009 12:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: remembrance

If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps was played; this brings out a new meaning of it.

We 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 its humble beginnings.

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the American 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 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.

The words 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 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 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.

Remember Those Lost and Harmed While Serving Their Country.

Also Remember Those Who Have Served And Returned; and for those presently serving in the Armed Forces.

Please send this on after a short prayer.

Make this a Prayer wheel for our soldiers…please don’t break it .

I didn’t!

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

21 replies so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3297 days

#1 posted 11-04-2009 12:42 PM

thankyou larry for posting this…it touches the hearts of millions..and has been the last thing people have heard as there loved one is laid to rest…....i hope this will educate those who dont know its meaning, thank you

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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7836 posts in 3297 days

#2 posted 11-04-2009 12:48 PM

hey , thank you again

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3816 days

#3 posted 11-04-2009 01:18 PM

Thanks, Larry. I appreciate this post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3496 days

#4 posted 11-04-2009 01:24 PM

Sorry, Larry, but I’m something of a Civil War buff, and that story, while heartwarming, is untrue. I’m usually not one for quoting Wikipedia, because I’ve found their data in many cases to be incomplete or wildly inaccurate, but on this one, they have it exactly right

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3817 days

#5 posted 11-04-2009 02:22 PM

What to say littlescope I recall seeing Larry version on the History Channel. Will have to do some history investigation on this one myself…Blkcherry

View cowdog80's profile


32 posts in 3141 days

#6 posted 11-04-2009 02:57 PM

Well, Snopes agrees with Littlecope: link

While the history channel is one of my favorites, it’s never been above reporting legend or innuendo as fact. As a man with a history degree, I can tell you that many of my professors refused to ever acknowledge it as a reliable resource.

- Behlen
- Waterlox Inc.


View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3169 days

#7 posted 11-04-2009 03:54 PM

Well, no matter the facts of the writer or where it all took place the melody is whats important and I still remember when they played it over my fathers grave years ago. I thank all the veterans for there service and keep the young men and women who are now serving close to my heart and in my prayers. No matter if a war is UNPOPULAR or not they deserve our utmost respect. God help them I wish they were all home.

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3169 days

#8 posted 11-04-2009 03:55 PM

Degoose, parden my poor manners, THANK YOU

View Woodwrecker's profile


4148 posts in 3570 days

#9 posted 11-04-2009 04:26 PM

Buy a vet a beer & remember to fly your flag on November 11th.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3496 days

#10 posted 11-04-2009 04:44 PM

For the record: In no way did I mean to belittle the sentiments of Larry’s Posting!! I share them completely. I get a lump in my throat every time I hear Taps sounded. My sense of pride and admiration for those who serve, past, present, and future, knows no bounds. I am very sorry that I did not make that more clear!!! My humblest apologies…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3177 days

#11 posted 11-04-2009 05:10 PM

Thanks for the post! I have been to many military funerals and when Taps is played it is very moving.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4212 days

#12 posted 11-04-2009 06:43 PM

Well, it certainly ranks right up there with the best of the great internet stories. Even if it isn’t true, it’s the thought that counts, right? Thanks, Larry.

And, in honor of Larry, here is the second most touching song of all time.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3328 days

#13 posted 11-04-2009 07:10 PM

Thanks Larry. Don’t worry about the story too much. The music eloquently says all that needs to be said anyway. And yes, the sadness of taps does bring home to us the brave sacrifices that been made in the past, are being made now, and will continue to be made in the future. Let us just do our best as citizens of wherever we live to make these sacrifices count for something. Thanks for posting this Larry. It’s good to be reminded once in a while why we have it safe and comfortable.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3613 days

#14 posted 11-04-2009 08:10 PM

Talk about a lump in your throat…....have you ever been at a funeral where the bagpipes were played? I’ve played at a number of funerals and there are very few dry eyes.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View GEORGE6149's profile


32 posts in 3591 days

#15 posted 11-04-2009 09:59 PM

When ever I hear TAPS,I get the vision of a pair of boots and helmet This is how we honored the men who died on our missions in Vietnam.when we came in for resupply The song is so simple but it say’s a lot.Ever hear it played with an echo,#1 bugler is close by and #2 bugler is in the distance playing softer, a few notes later. . Really sounds beautiful. Can someone tell me why bagpipes are played at ceremonies and funerals? THANKS


showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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