Eternal Father, strong to save (John Bacchus Dykes)

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  • CPDL #11209:        (Finale 2002)
Editor: Kent Cooper (submitted 2006-03-17).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 28 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Sound file is an MP3 but it is a MIDI realisation, not a recording. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Eternal Father, Strong to Save
Composer: John Bacchus Dykes
Tune: Melita
Lyricist: William Whiting

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredHymn   Meter: 88. 88. 88

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella or keyboard

Published: 1861

Description: Otherwise known as "The Navy Hymn." The .PDF image uses the original William Whiting words. There are versions with wording modernized, versions about sub-branches of the Navy, other branches of the military services, and on numerous unrelated topics.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Original William Whiting 1860 poem:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy Word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.


Alternate Verses:
O Christ! Who walked this troubled land,
And doth our hearts and souls command;
Oh, bring us peace, now we implore,
Or lead us to prevail in war!
Oh give our soldiers strength - And stand
With those in peril on the land!

Holy Ghost guide all who fly
In the dark chaos of the sky,
Aloft in solitudes of space,
Uphold them with Thy saving grace!
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our family shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect us wheresoever we go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns from air and land and sea.

…and many, many others (search the web for "Navy Hymn" or "Eternal Father, Strong to Save")…