A simple game with minimal verbal communication; perfect for antisocials and UN trade delegations when there are no interpreters handy.

    How to Play:
  • Each player requires a coin and a steady supply of beer.
  • A player taps a coin on the table once to begin play to the right.
  • The person to the right then taps their coin once to maintain the direction and twice to reverse the direction.
  • When a person screws up (tapping out of turn or not tapping soon enough) they must drink.

Anthem written by an unknown Confederate soldier during the Civil War. The legend tied to Taps starts at the opening of the Civil War when a Union officer forces his son to go to school to keep him from joining the war. Several long years later, at Gettysburg, during a lull in the fighting, the officer hears a wounded soldier moaning in "no man's land." Without regard for his own life or the fact that the soldier might be the enemy, the officer manages to drag the wounded soldier back to his encampment. He discovers that it his son, who had left school to join the Confederates. In his now-dead son's hand is a letter, on one side he apologizes to his family and his fiancee, on the other is a few notes for piano. The officer manages to get his son buried with full honors despite his being a Confederate soldiers. At the funeral, all they can manage is a single trumpeteer, who, at the request of the officer, plays his son's composition, Taps.

TAPS also stands for Transportation and Parking Services, an evil organization of ticket fairies which hands out tickets on the campus of UC Davis Adding to the tradition of the Davis police, they are evil and enjoy tricking people into getting tickets. They are in league with the kiosk at the front of campus... the kiosk will tell you where you supposedly can park and then taps will give you a ticket for parking there. I bet the kiosk radios them every time they have a 'customer'. Another favorite trick is seemingly randomly varying which booths sell tickets every day, so that if you go to the wrong parking lot you are late for class.. And despite their obvious incompetence, they want to be allowed to drive and park your car for you in their worthless stack parking program. So, I just ride my bike the 2 miles to campus... they will touch my truck over my dead body...

The information in ghost006's writeup is false, one of many attempts to romanticize the story behind what is one of the military's most famous bugle calls.

Union General Danial Adams Butterfield wrote "Taps" while camped at Harrison Landing, Virginia, near Richmond in 1862. Butterfield hummed "Taps" to an aide, who wrote down the notes, and had his brigade buguler Oliver W. Norton play them back. After some modification, Butterfield was finally happy with the melody, which was then used for "lights out" instead of the traditional music, the French "L'Extinction des feux". It was given the name "Taps" after the 3 drum taps which signalled that "lights out" was in effect. The other brigades (even Confederates) loved the melody so much they that too adopted it.

"Taps" was first played at a military funeral soon aftwerward. The following is its first reported use: Union Captain John Tidball ordered it played for the burial of a cannoneer killed in action. Fearing that the Confederates would hear the usual rifle volley (thus giving away their location), "Taps" was substituted as a proper send-off for the soldier.

I recommend Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels as a beautiful fictionalization of the Battle of Gettysburg, complete with scads of factual information, including some about Butterfield. The war had so many amazing stories that I feel false legends such as the "Taps" story add nothing to the historical understanding of the emotions and heavy-handedness of the time.

The name "Taps" was not given to the melody until 1874. It is still used to mark the end of the soldier's day, and, appropriately, the end of his earthly journey.

"Taps" has no official lyric, although the following is in relatively common use:

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.

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