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Game Called
Posted by: Stephen Gottschalk (
Date: July 15, 2005 11:35AM

Could someone kindly explain the reference to "taps" in the famous baseball ballad by Grantland Rice? Many thanks, Stephen.

"Game Called" by Grantland Rice

Game called... across the field of play,
The dusk has come, the hour is late,
The fight is done, and lost or won,
The player files out through the gate.
The tumult dies, the cheer is hushed,
The stands are bare, the park is still,
But through the night, there shines the light,
Of home behind the silent hill.

Game called... where in the golden light,
The bugle rolled the reveille,
The shadows creep, where night falls deep,
And taps has called the end of play.
The game is done, the score is in,
The final cheer and jeer have passed,
But in the night, beyond the fight,
The player finds his rest at last.

Game called... upon the field of life,
The darkness gathers far and wide,
The dream is done, the score is spun,
That stands forever in the guide.
Nor victory, nor yet defeat,
Is chalked against the player’s name,
But down the roll, the final scroll,
Shows only how he played the game.

("Baseball Ballads", Copyright 1910 The Tennessean Co.)

Re: Game Called
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: July 15, 2005 01:57PM

The bugle rolled the reveille,

Reveille begins the day, taps ends it.

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Makes no sense? Well, maybe the reveille is awaking in heaven, with life/death as the extended metaphor?

Re: Game Called
Posted by: Linda (
Date: July 16, 2005 05:56PM

I was reading it as reveille is birth, the game life and taps death.

Grantland Rice also wrote in "Alumnus Football":

"When the One Great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He marks--not that you won or lost--
But how you played the Game."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/16/2005 06:21PM by Linda.

Re: Game Called
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (
Date: July 16, 2005 07:33PM


Re: Game Called
Posted by: RH (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 12, 2005 12:37AM

Reveille is a bugle call marking the begining of the day on a military outpost, Taps is played at midnight (hence his reference to "as the night falls deep") to honor the soldiers who've died in war.

Anyway sorry, I'm in the military

Re: Game Called
Posted by: marian2 (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 15, 2005 01:39PM

We had taps in the Girl Guides, as well - to mark the end of meetings, camp etc.

I read the poem as
Verse 1 - baseball
Verse 2 - war
Verse 3 - life

It reminds me of Newbold's poem that ends 'Play up, play up and play the game'- but that stops after cricket and war.

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