The heart warming tale behind the poignant tune "the Last Post"

M G SinghStarred Page By M G Singh, 13th Aug 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/x16t9eg-/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>True Stories

This is the tale behind the song "the Last Post" that heralds the end of a campaign or a salute to adeparted warrior.

The story behind

ALL have heard the haunting song, 'The Last Post.'
It's the song that gives us the lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes.
The fact is not many 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 'The Last Post' used at military funerals was born.

The Melody

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

Last Word

I too have felt the chills while listening to 'The Last Post' 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 all I can say is that I now have a
deeper respect for the song than I did before

Tags

Death And Soldiers, Last Post, Soldiers

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
16th Aug 2017 (#)

Thanks Madan, so touching. A life is a life lived for ideals that may be different from ours but has to be respected and honored.

Common folks pay the price for the deeds of supposed leaders who live on and on - siva

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author avatar LOVERME
16th Aug 2017 (#)

excellent research Sir
and
this is known as telepathy...

pops and son's
he heard his ''OWN'' voice ..
god bless both where ever if at all

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.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
16th Aug 2017 (#)

I used to play the last post for the my school games closure. We were trained by the Indian Army Band and learnt the authentic version with the echoes. While you stand and listen to to it and get your flag, I play it for you as you get it. Missed me Madan G String???

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author avatar Edwradcross
16th Aug 2017 (#)

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