(source: "Girl Guide Songbook, Vol. 1", Girl Guides Association, 1984; also in "Songs for Canadian Girl Guides", Girl Guides of Canada, 1981.)

Thanks to Maureen Dodd for sending me the French words!



Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lake
From the hills
From the sky
All is well
Safely rest
God is nigh
C'est la nuit
Tout se tait
Sur les plaines,
Les collines,
Et les bois;
C'est la paix
Tout est bien
Et Dieu vient.

Note: "Taps" is used to close out all Guiding events. If the event finishes before sundown, it is appropriate to sing "Daylight Taps" instead.

Taps - Full Version
Source: "Sociability Songs 'Songs for Everybody'", Gordon V. Thompson Ltd., Toronto, Ontario

Thanks to Rosemary Smith for posting these words to the Guide Mailing List!

Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh
Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.

Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright;
God is near, do not fear
Friend, good night.

Other Versions of Taps

Thanks to Carol Bockman, who posted these versions to the Guiding Mailing List.

Air Ranger Taps

Stars are bright, green the light
As we fly, through the sky, nearing home
In God's hands, safe to land,
On the drome

Sea Ranger Taps

Pipe down, all is well
And our lights, burning bright, through the night
Hands turn in, watch below,
Pipe down

Taps From Around the World

Wow! Thanks very much to Claudia Lister, who posted the words to "Taps" in a number of different languages to the Guiding Mailing List!

Note: These translations of "Taps" were published in Team Talk, Fall '95.


D'avand valt, alles zwijgt
Zachtkens ruist over zee, bos en hei,
Winde groet, alles wei,
God nabij.


Dagen randt, solen svandt
Bort fra himmel, fra hav, og fra land,
Hvil kuntrygt, Fred i sind,
Gud er naer.


Dagem dor, skymning rar
Over skog, over berg, over hav,
Allt ar ro, vila trygg,
Gud ar nar.


Ilta saa uinahtaa,
Paivyto vetten ja, metsien taa,
Tyyn ny rain, Luamas on
Herre ain.

Pronunciation: (sounds connected by a hyphen are diphthongs i.e. said as one syllable and sung on the same note)

eel tah sah, oo-ee nah tah
pa-ee vewt vet ten yah met see en tah
tew new vine, loo-oh nahs on
hay rah ah-een

words by Rand A Oppenheimer)

Haere ra, (farewell)
E te ao (to the light)
E te tai, te puke, te rangi; (To the sea, The hill, The sky)
Kei te pai, (All is well)
Piri mai, (Draws near)
Te Atua (The Lord)

The True Story behind Taps

Thanks to Lyn Lunsted, who shared this with the Guiding Mailing List.

The 132-year-old bugle call was composed by Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield, who commanded the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, during the American Civil War.

Butterfield wrote "Taps" at Harrison's Landing, Va., in July 1862 to replace the customary firing of three rifle volleys at the end of burials during battle. "Taps" also replaced "Tatoo," the French bugle call to signal "lights out." Butterfield' s bugler, Oliver W. Norton of Chicago, was the first to sound the new call. Within months, "Taps" was sounded by buglers in both Union and Confederate forces.

One of the final bugle calls of the day on military installations, "Taps" is played at 10 p.m. as a signal to service members that it is "lights out."

When "Taps" is played, it is customary to salute, if in uniform, or place your hand over your heart if not. The composer of "Taps" was born Oct. 31, 1831, in Utica, N.Y., and joined the Army in Washington, D.C.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor in the U.S. Volunteers on June 27, 1862. After his brigade lost more than 600 men in the Battle of Gaines Mill, Butterfield took up the colors of the 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteers. Under heavy enemy fire, he encouraged the depleted ranks to regroup and continue the battle.

Butterfield died July 17, 1901, and was buried at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. "Taps" was sounded at his funeral.