Sunday, May 29, 2016

From the Archives: Bugler's Cry: The Origin of Sounding Taps

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Isabella reporting,

It's been a few years since we last shared this short video, but I can't think of a better time to post it again.  The bugle call known as Taps is over 150 years old, and from the first notes it's both instantly recognizable and hauntingly evocative – and especially appropriate for Memorial Day in America.


tll6601 said...

Thanks so very much for posting the poignant video of the history of Taps on Memorial Day. My father, CSM Houston L. Lass, retired from the Army as the Command Sergeant Major over the 81st ARCOM, a position which left him in charge of all the non-enlisted soldiers in five Southern states. Naturally, I arranged a full military funeral with all the pomp & circumstance accorded a soldier of Daddy's rank. However, Daddy's funeral had a very interesting twist. He'd always said that when he died, he wanted the bugler to play Reveille instead of Taps, because, as he often said, "I'll be waking up in Heaven!" I gave his eulogy & explained that, although we would have Taps played, at Daddy's request, we would ask the bugler to play Reveille after playing Taps. My funeral director, a long-time family friend, was horrified & said, "You can't do that!" I looked him in the eye & said that since it was Daddy's dying wish, we WOULD honor his last request. The funeral director agreed to take care of it, & sure enough, after Taps was played, the bugler respectfully waited a moment, then burst forth with a rousing rendition of Reveille. For months after that, people told me it was the most meaningful, beautiful funeral they'd ever attended. Thanks again for your post.

Toni Fire Hair said...

Thank you history nerds. I love this article. As a musician (flute, piano, whistle, and fife), I have played the taptoe for colonial encampments for years. BUT, the taps played at my father's funeral were the most significant and heart wrenching.

Hard to say happy when discussing Memorial Day (aka Decoration Day), but I hope your day is filled with joy and fond memories.

Toni Fire Hair
Amateur Historian
Mother, Grandmother, Kitty Person

bluefalling said...

When my husband joined the Army the playing of Taps at sunset was jarring to me as a civilian. We see its less common purpose displayed, rather than the signal that the day is done.

But played over scratchy loudspeakers all over the base. Aaaaah, modern life.

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