The History of TAPS
TAPS IS NOT A SONG BUT A SIGNAL
There is a soul rendering story about Taps, but it is only a myth. This is the real history.
The tune is a variation of an earlier bugle call known as the "Scott Tattoo", which was used in the U.S. from 1835 until 1860. It was arranged in its present form by the Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield, an American Civil War general and Medal of Honor recipient. He was a commander in the Army of the Potomac while at Harrison's Landing, Virginia. Butterfield's version in July 1862 replaced a previous French bugle call used to signal "lights out". Butterfield's bugler, Oliver Wilcox Norton of East Springfield, Pennsylvania] was the first to sound the new call. Within months "Taps" was used by both Union and Confederate forces. It was officially recognized by the United States Army in 1874.
many military funerals conducted with honors
National Cemetery and elsewhere in the
United States. It is also regularly played at the
American Cemetery in Normandy, France, to
commemorate the sacrifice made, at and around that
site, by United States servicemen in WWII, during
the Allied effort to liberate Europe from the Nazis.
It became a standard
component to U.S. military funerals in 1891
There are no formal words to the music because it is a SIGNAL. But there is one original set of lyrics, meant to informally accompany the music, written by Horace Lorenzo Trim:
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.