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Eternal Father, Strong to Save (arr Breigel)

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John B. Dykes

John B. Dykes (arr. George Briegel)

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Also known as The Navy Hymn

General Info

Year: 1861 / 1945
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Hymn
Publisher: George F Breigel
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.

Instrumentation (incomplete)

D-flat Piccolo
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Cornet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Eternal Father, Strong to Save, based on a poem by William Whiting and set to music by John Bacchus Dykes in 1861, has long been associated with the United States and British Royal Navy, and has come to be known as the Navy Hymn. It is often performed at funerals and other solemn occasions, and over the years new verses have been written to acknowledge specific occupations within the military. There are currently stanzas recognizing SEALs, doctors, and even astronauts.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

Eternal Father, Strong to Save is a hymn traditionally associated with seafarers, particularly in the maritime armed services. Written in 1860, its author William Whiting was inspired by the dangers of the sea described in Psalm 107. It was popularized by the Royal Navy and the United States Navy in the late 19th century, and variations of it were soon adopted by many branches of the armed services in the United Kingdom and the United States. Services who have adapted the hymn include the Royal Marines, Royal Air Force, the British Army, the United States Coast Guard and the United States Marine Corps, as well as many navies of the British Commonwealth. Accordingly, it is known by many names, variously referred to as Melita, the Hymn of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, the Royal Navy Hymn, the United States Navy Hymn (or just The Navy Hymn), and sometimes by the last line of its first verse, "For Those in Peril on the Sea". The hymn has a long tradition in civilian maritime contexts as well, being regularly invoked by ship's chaplains and sung during services on ocean crossings.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) – 8 April 2018 (College Park, Md.)

Works for Winds by This Composer