AskDefine | Define reveille

Dictionary Definition



1 (military) signal to wake up [syn: wake-up signal]
2 a signal to get up in the morning; in the military it is a bugle call at sunrise

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The sounding of a bugle early in the morning to awaken and summon people in a camp or garrison. (Military)

Extensive Definition

Reveille (see pronunciation differences) 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 for "wake up". 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.
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 while the National Anthem or the bugle call "To the Colors" is played). On some U.S. military bases, it is accompanied with a cannon shot. As it is played 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 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, servicemen for practical reasons 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 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. (Sometimes "Reveille" is complemented or replaced by The Rouse, a bugle call commonly mistaken for "Reveille", although these are actually two different tunes.)
Both 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 is played by altering the embouchure.


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 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!
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!
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
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


Being bugle music, both Reveille and Rouse are composed solely from the written notes of the C Major triad (i.e. C, E, and G, the tonic, major third, and dominant), these being the only notes available on the instrument.


External links

reveille in German: Reise reise
reveille in Swedish: Revelj

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Angelus, Angelus bell, alarm, alarum, arousal, awakening, battle cry, birdcall, bugle call, call, last post, moose call, rallying cry, rebel yell, rousing, rude awakening, summons, taps, trumpet call, war cry, whistle
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