"Reveille" is a bugle call
Bugle call
A bugle call is a short tune, originating as a military signal announcing scheduled and certain non-scheduled events on a military installation, battlefield, or ship. Historically, bugles, drums, and other loud musical instruments were used for clear communication in the noise and confusion of a...

, trumpet call or pipes call most often associated with the military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 or summer camp; it is chiefly used to wake military personnel at sunrise
Sunrise is the instant at which the upper edge of the Sun appears above the horizon in the east. Sunrise should not be confused with dawn, which is the point at which the sky begins to lighten, some time before the sun itself appears, ending twilight...

. The name comes from "réveillé" (or "réveil"), the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 word for "wake up".

British Army Cavalry
Cavalry regiments of the British Army
There are currently nine regular cavalry regiments of the British Army, with two tank regiments provided by the Royal Tank Regiment, traditionally classed alongside the cavalry, for a total of eleven regiments. Of these, five serve as armoured regiments, and five as formation reconnaissance...

 and Royal Horse Artillery
Royal Horse Artillery
The regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery , dating from 1793, are part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery of the British Army...

 Regiments sound a call different from the Infantry version shown above also known as Reveille (Trumpet & Bugle Calls for the British Army 1966), while the Scottish Regiments
Scottish regiment
A Scottish regiment is any regiment that at some time in its history has or had a name that referred to Scotland or some part, thereof, and adopted items of Scottish dress...

 of the British Army sound a pipes call of the same name.

Commonwealth of Nations and the United States

The tune used in the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 is different from the one used in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, but they are used in analogous ways: to ceremonially start the day.

In modern times, the U.S. military
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 plays (or sounds) "reveille" in the morning, generally near sunrise, though its exact time varies from base to base. On U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 posts, the national flag
Flag of the United States
The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

 is raised while reveille is played; on board U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, and Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 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.

In Commonwealth Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 and Remembrance Sunday
Remembrance Sunday
In the United Kingdom, 'Remembrance Sunday' is held on the second Sunday in November, which is the Sunday nearest to 11 November Armistice Day. It is the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War at 11 a.m...

 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
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

. ("Reveille" is often replaced by The Rouse
The Rouse
The Rouse is a bugle call most often associated with the military in Commonwealth countries. It is commonly played following The Last Post at military services, and is often mistakenly referred to as Reveille....

, 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:

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.

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 warrant'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
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin was an American composer and lyricist of Jewish heritage, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history.His first hit song, "Alexander's Ragtime Band", became world famous...

 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
This Is the Army
This Is the Army is a 1943 American wartime motion picture produced by Hal B. Wallis and Jack L. Warner, and directed by Michael Curtiz, and a wartime musical designed to boost morale in the U.S. during World War II, directed by Sgt. Ezra Stone...

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
Bugle (instrument)
The bugle is one of the simplest brass instruments, having no valves or other pitch-altering devices. All pitch control is done by varying the player's embouchure, since the bugle has no other mechanism for controlling pitch. Consequently, the bugle is limited to notes within the harmonic series...

 music, solely from the notes of the major triad
Triad (music)
In music and music theory, a triad is a three-note chord that can be stacked in thirds. Its members, when actually stacked in thirds, from lowest pitched tone to highest, are called:* the Root...

, usually notated
Musical notation
Music notation or musical notation is any system that represents aurally perceived music, through the use of written symbols.-History:...

 in C as: C, the tonic
Tonic (music)
In music, the tonic is the first scale degree of the diatonic scale and the tonal center or final resolution tone. The triad formed on the tonic note, the tonic chord, is thus the most significant chord...

; E, the mediant
In music, the mediant is the third scale degree of the diatonic scale, being the note halfway between the tonic and the dominant. Similarly, the submediant is halfway between the tonic and subdominant...

; and G, the dominant
Dominant (music)
In music, the dominant is the fifth scale degree of the diatonic scale, called "dominant" because it is next in importance to the tonic,and a dominant chord is any chord built upon that pitch, using the notes of the same diatonic scale...


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
Harmonic series (music)
Pitched musical instruments are often based on an approximate harmonic oscillator such as a string or a column of air, which oscillates at numerous frequencies simultaneously. At these resonant frequencies, waves travel in both directions along the string or air column, reinforcing and canceling...



In the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer 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
Irish Army
The Irish Army, officially named simply the Army is the main branch of the Defence Forces of Ireland. Approximately 8,500 men and women serve in the Irish Army, divided into three infantry Brigades...

, "reveille" is sounded at dawn and at military wreath-laying ceremonies, as on the National Day of Commemoration
National Day of Commemoration
In the Republic of Ireland, the National Day of Commemoration commemorates all Irish men and women who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations. It occurs on the Sunday nearest July 11 , the anniversary of the date in 1921 that a truce was signed ending the Irish War of Independence...



In Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, 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
Johann Heinrich Walch
Johann Heinrich Walch , was a German conductor, chamber musician and choral master for both the Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg as well as of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in Gotha in the current German state Thüringen...

 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.

External links

  • "Reveille" from official U.S. Army Band website (MP3
    MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...

  • "Sveglia" Italian "Reveille" bugle call from the Esercito Italiano website (MP3
    MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...

  • "Reveille" from Norwegian Defence Force
    Norwegian Defence Force
    The Norwegian Armed Forces numbers about 23,000 personnel, including civilian employees. According to mobilisation plans , the strength during full mobilisation would be approximately 83,000 combatant personnel. Norway has mandatory military service for men and voluntary service for women...

     (His Majesty the King’s Guard) (WMA
    Windows Media Audio
    Windows Media Audio is an audio data compression technology developed by Microsoft. The name can be used to refer to its audio file format or its audio codecs. It is a proprietary technology that forms part of the Windows Media framework. WMA consists of four distinct codecs...

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