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"Reveille" is a bugle call most often associated with the military; it is chiefly used to wake military personnel at sunrise. The name comes from the French word for "wake up".


Commonwealth of Nations and the United States

The tune used in the Commonwealth of Nations is different from the one used in the United States, but they are used in analogous ways: to ceremonially start the day.

The U.S. version of "Reveille"

In modern times, the U.S. military plays (or sounds) "reveille" in the morning, generally near sunrise, though its exact time varies from base to base. On U.S. Army posts, the national flag is raised while reveille is played; (on board U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard facilities, the flag is generally raised at 0800 (8 am) while the National Anthem or the bugle call "To the Colors" is played). On some U.S. military bases, reveille is accompanied by a cannon shot.

As reveille is played (sounded), all uniformed personnel are required to come to attention and present a salute, either to the flag or in the direction of the music if the flag is not visible. Personnel armed with rifles at the time reveille is sounded are required to give a rifle salute.[1]

In Commonwealth Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday services, "The Last Post" begins the period of silent reflection, and "Reveille" ends it. The two tunes symbolize sunset and sunrise respectively, and therefore, death and resurrection. ("Reveille" is often replaced by The Rouse, a bugle call commonly mistaken for "Reveille", although these are actually two different tunes.)



Although there are no official lyrics to Reveille, these unofficial lyrics for the Commonwealth "Reveille" have been recently popularized[2]:

Rev-eil-lee! Rev-eil-lee is sounding
The bugle calls you from your sleep; it is the break of day.
You've got to do your duty or you will get no pay.
Come, wake yourself, rouse yourself out of your sleep
And throw off the blankets and take a good peek at all
The bright signs of the break of day, so get up and do not delay.

Get Up!

Or-der-ly officer is on his round!
And if you're still a-bed he will send you to the guard
And then you'll get a drill and that will be a bitter pill:
So be up when he comes, be up when he comes,
Like a soldier at his post, a soldier at his post, all ser-ene.

To the U.S. tune:

I can't get 'em up,
I can't get 'em up,
I can't get 'em up this morning;
I can't get 'em up,
I can't get 'em up,
I can't get 'em up at all!
The corporal's worse than the privates,
The sergeant's worse than the corporals,
Lieutenant's worse than the sergeants,
And the captain's worst of all!
< repeat top six lines >

An alternate rendition to the U.S. tune above:

I can't get 'em up
I can't get 'em up
I can't get 'em up this morning;
I can't get 'em up
I can't get 'em up
I can't get 'em up at all!
And tho' the sun starts peeping,
And dawn has started creeping,
Those lazy bums keep sleeping,
They never hear my call!
< repeat top six lines >

Still another U.S. version goes:

You've got to get up
You've got to get up
You've got to get up this morning
You've got to get up
You've got to get up
Get up with the bugler's call
The major told the captain
The captain told the sergeant
The sergeant told the bugler
The bugler told them all
< repeat top six lines >

Irving Berlin cited the lyrics in part of his song, "Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning"; from the musical, This Is the Army:

The hardest blow of all
Is to hear the bugler call--
You gotta get up
You gotta get up
You gotta get up this morning


Reveille and Rouse are composed, like all bugle music, solely from the notes of the major triad, usually notated in C as: C, the tonic; E, the mediant; and G, the dominant.

Both the Commonwealth and United States "Reveilles" can be played with any combination of valves (or all open valves), because they were first played on a bugle, which lacks valves and plays only notes from the harmonic series.

Other nations

In the Indian Army, "reveille" is sounded at 06:00 (or sunrise), and the regimental colours are hoisted. As this also signals the start of the physical training parade, for practical reasons, servicemen must awake prior to the sounding of reveille.

In the Irish Army, "reveille" is sounded at dawn and at military wreath-laying ceremonies, as on the National Day of Commemoration.

In Sweden, revelj (reveille) can be played on bugle, trumpet or drum. Today, it is usually played from a recording. There is also a reveille for military band composed by Johann Heinrich Walch that is used as the reveille of the Swedish Armed Forces.


External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

REVEILLE (Fr. reveillez, imperative of reveiller, to awaken, Lat. re- and vigilare, to watch), the signal by call of bugle or beat of drum to announce to soldiers the time to awake and begin duty.

<< Reval

Book of Revelation >>


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