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"Reveille" (US: // REV-ə-lee; UK: // rə-VAL-ee) is a bugle call, trumpet call or pipes call most often associated with the military and prisons; it is chiefly used to wake military personnel and prisoners at sunrise. The name comes from réveille (or réveil), the French word for "wake up".
British Army Cavalry and Royal Horse Artillery regiments sound a call different from the infantry version shown below, known as "The Rouse" but often misnamed "Reveille", while the Scottish Regiments of the British Army sound a pipes call of the same name.
Commonwealth of Nations and the United States
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 Star Spangled Banner" 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 U.S. Army 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.
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.)
"To Reveille" or "to sound Reveille" is often used among military personnel as a term meaning "to notify personnel that it is time to wake up," whether the bugle call is actually sounded or not. Units lacking the personnel or equipment necessary to play the tune will often assign the duty to "sound Reveille" to the last watch of the night, who must ensure that others are roused at the proper time, by any appropriate means (often by actually shouting the word "reveille" until everyone is awake).
Although there are no official lyrics to "Reveille", these unofficial lyrics for the Commonwealth "Reveille" have been recently popularized:
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 day are here, so get up and do not delay.
Or-der-ly officer is on his round!Like a soldier at his post, a soldier at his post, all ser-ene.
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,
The first lines of the British Cavalry "Reveille" were for many years rendered as:
Scrub the bloody muck out of your eyes...
The infantry and general "Reveille" ran:
Get out of bed,
Get out of bed,I feel sorry for you, I do!
You lazy bastards! (repeat)
In the Royal Navy, "Reveille" was usually verbalised as:
- Wakey Wakey, Lash up and Stow!
To the U.S. tune:
An alternate rendition to the U.S. tune above:
Still another U.S. version goes:
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.
The reveille, was previously used throughout the Royal Danish Army, but is now only played at sunrise and sunset at the Guard Hussar Regiment barracks, by buglers from mounted squadron's drum and bugle corps.
Reise Reise is the wake up call on ships of the German Navy, the Deutsche Marine. It comes from the Low German word for rise. Every day on a German Navy ship starts with a wake-up call, the purren, which is started by the Locken, a whistle from the boatswain's call given 5 minutes before the main wake-up call. The wake-up call is given by a long whistle and the call: Reise, reise, aufstehen, überall zurrt Hängematten. "Rise, rise, wake up, get your hammock ready".
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 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.
Boy Scouts of America
Within the Boy Scouts of America, it is common for reveille to be sounded as a "wake up" for a large encampment of scouts, usually a camporee, jamboree or summer camp. The music may be played over the camp's intercom or bugled or trumpeted by the camp bugler. An individual scout unit may also sound reveille to rouse the scouts and scouters on a weekend trip, though this is less common.
An instrumental rock version of the melody was recorded as "Reveille Rock" in 1959 by Johnny and The Hurricanes and released on Warwick Records, catalog number M-513. The record charted Billboard number 25 and number 14 in the UK.