The Last Call//Forever We’ll Remember

“The Last Call”, more commonly recognized by the name “Taps”, is perhaps the most heartbreaking piece of music ever composed. It is comprised of only twenty-four notes, yet it stirs deep within us every ember of patriotism, grief, and humility that can be found.

Those of you who have been to an American military funeral, know the feeling of watching the flag being folded, then having your heart break while you listen to the bugler play Taps. It is a feeling unlike any other.

The history of Taps is a little blurred in areas. We know that it came into existence around the time of the War Between the States. No one really seems to be able to agree on who should be credited with the music, or even which side was the first to use it. However, we do know that it was used by both the Confederacy and the Union.

Over time it has come to be used in the US as a vital part of military and police funeral honors. Haunting and mournful, its music speaks when words fail.

Did you know that Taps has words that go to it?

The most commonly used words are known as “Day is Done”.

Day is done, Gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hill,
From the sky.
All is well, Safely rest,
God is nigh.

Fades the light; And afar,
Goeth day, And the stars,
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.

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.

Then goodnight,
Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn,
Shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear,
Oh, goodnight.

But perhaps one of the most sorrowful verses of the song goes,

Here at Rest with the blest,
For his Country he did his best,
Put the flag on his breast,
Comrade rest.

The words have more meaning than maybe at first meets the eye. Originally the words were in reference to the songs primary purpose, to signal lights out. But when Taps began to be used for the burials of those killed defending our nation, the words took on new meaning.

The reference to the sun going down and deep night shades taking hold, is reminiscent of the way grief floods the heart. Each verse speaks of the final goodbye said by the family and friends of the fallen soldier. And the words to the rest of the verse are the final assurance from the fallen soldier’s comrades that they will keep the watch of liberty.

All is well, safely rest. God is nigh.

Did you know the words to “The Last Call”? Had you ever heard it sung? Let us know in the comments!

As Memorial Day approaches, let us always remember.

A. M. Watson

Hebrews 13:8

5 thoughts on “The Last Call//Forever We’ll Remember

  1. I’ve been reading your Memorial Day posts and learning more about the day than I ever knew before. I had heard the first verse of “The Last Call” at summer camp but never knew it was also traditionally sung at funerals and had all those other verses. Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, that makes me so happy! I am so glad that you have been enjoying the posts and learning new things about Memorial Day.

      Many times only the music is played, but also sometimes the words as well. The words are so fitting for their purpose.

      Thanks for following along! I hope you enjoy the rest of the Countdown. Keep your eye out for Monday’s post, it’s going to be a special one! 🇺🇸

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I never knew the words! Thank you for sharing. Yes, the first few notes always bring a tear followed by….more tears.😏 Such stirring music for sure. Thank you for the insight into this song.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi! I had no idea that there were lyrics to this song. It makes it that much more heartbreaking. I remember hearing it every time my choir group would sing at peace officer memorials (that and Amazing Grace on the bagpipes). Thanks so much for sharing all these posts on Memorial Day 🙂


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