Eternal Father Strong to Save (Naval hymn) for Recorder Quintet

By: John Bacchus Dykes
For: Quartet of Soprano Recorders
page one of Eternal Father Strong to Save (Naval hymn) for Recorder Quintet

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John Bacchus Dykes
Year of composition
Year of arrangement
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
1 minute
Classical music
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For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

An arrangement for Recorder Consort of this popular hymn, and a suitable hymn for Naval funerals, and funerals of fishermen.

This hymn was among those sung at a religious service aboard HMS Prince of Wales attended by Winston Churchill (who requested that the hymn be sung) and Franklin D. Roosevelt at the conference creating the Atlantic Charter.

Use in funerals

This hymn has been played or sung at a number of funerals for those who have served in the US Navy. It was sung at the funeral of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, played by the Navy Band at the funeral of John F. Kennedy, sung at the funeral of Richard Nixon, and played by the Navy Band and the Coast Guard Band during the funeral of Ronald Reagan. Roosevelt had served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Kennedy was commanding officer of PT-109 in World War II.The hymn was also played to close the funeral of R. Buckminster Fuller, as well as at the Memorial Ceremony in Norfolk, VA for the USS Cole (DDG-67) after the bombing of the ship in October 2000. It was performed by the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters at the State Funeral of President Gerald R. Ford, who had served in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theater.

This hymn has been played or sung in a number of films and television programs dealing with the US Navy, including Crimson Tide and JAG. It has also been used in The Right Stuff (for Naval Aviation) and in The Perfect Storm (for civilians). In the show 24, the song was played as President David Palmer’s casket was loaded onto an airplane bound for Arlington National Cemetery. Tennessee Ernie Ford performed the hymn on a special episode of his television program filmed on a U.S. Naval carrier to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of U.S. naval aviation.

It was sung at the end of every episode of Navy Log by the US Naval Academy Choir.

In Making Waves, it was sung by the crew of the Royal Navy ship HMS Suffolk at the Funeral of Andy Fellows.

The third verse of the hymn was used briefly in an episode of "Mr. Bean", when the titular character attends a church mass; it is sung as he enters but ends before he gets a chance to join in.

Its usage in the movie Titanic is an anachronism. The version sung in the movie is the 1940 Protestant Episcopal version, which was not yet written when the Titanic sank in 1912. However, the film is essentially accurate in that the ship’s passengers did sing the song - albeit in its original version - during the hymn service of Reverend Ernest Courtenay Carter.

This song is referenced in David Weber’s "Flag in Exile" as part of a religious service aboard a Royal Manticore Navy superdreadnought.

The last strains of the song can be heard in the video opening of Jane’s Fleet Command

It is quoted in the opening scenes of Terry Pratchett’s Nation.

The hymn forms part of the soundtrack to Crimson Tide, composed by Hans Zimmer, notably the track "Little Ducks". A voices and orchestra arrangement of the hymn, the track is credited to Zimmer.

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Air on the G string for Soprano/Descant Recorder Duo, That’s A Plenty for Recorder Quintet, English National Anthem (And Did Those Feet in Ancient Times) for Recorder Orchestra, Flow my tears for Recorder Quartet, O Sole Mio for Treble Recorder & Piano, Mattinata for Descant Recorder & Piano, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot for Treble Recorder & Piano, What Shall We Do With The Drunken Tenor Recorder Player ?, Overture from Suite in D from the Water Music for two Treble Recorders & Keyboard, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot for Recorder Consort, 8 Swinging Xmas Carols for Tenor Recorder & Piano, 8 Swinging Xmas Carols for Treble Recorder & Piano, Havana Rhubarb Rumba for Recorder Septet, Lustpiel Overture for Recorder Consort, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba for two Descant Recorders & String Orchestra, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba for Recorder Orchestra, Echo for Recorder Octet, Japanese National Anthem (Kimiyago - “君が代”) for Recorder Consort (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Welsh National Anthem for Recorder Consort (Land of my Fathers), March from 'Judas Maccabaeus' for Recorder Consort (School Junior Recorder Series), March from ’Judas Maccabaeus’ for Flexible Band (School Junior Band Series), Lily the Pink for School Recorder Quartet with KB & Drums, Three Welsh Chorales for Recorder Quartet, Stanley Trumpet Voluntary for Two Descant Recorders & Piano, Fugue on B-a-c-h for Recorder Consort, Chorale Partita with Seven Variations for Recorder Consort, Stanley Trumpet Voluntary for two Descant Recorders & Organ (no pedals), What Shall We Do With The Drunken Recorder Consort?, A Soprano/Descant Recorderist Goes Ballroom Dancing, The Gypsy Descant Recorder Player in New Orleans, Solveigs sang for Descant Recorder & Keyboard, Overture from Suite in D for Two Descant Recorders & Harpsichord, Allegro from the Trumpet Concerto for Treble Recorder & Keyboard, Air from the Suite No. 3 in D for Recorder Quartet, Träumerei for Recorder Consort, Be Thou My Vision (Hymn Tune:Slane) for Recorder Consort, Aria for Recorder Consort (HWV410), Czardas for Tenor Recorder & Piano, Hebrew Slaves Chorus from Nabucco ("Va, pensiero") for Recorder Quintet, Norwegian National Anthem for Recorder Consort, Czardas for Descant Recorder & Piano, Three Popular Hymns for Recorder Consort, Bollywood Tango for Bb Soprano/Soprillo & Eb Baritone Saxophone with Piano, 7 julsangs (Xmas Carols) for Recorder Consort (Norwegian Christmas carols), African Anthem for Recorder Quintet, A Serenade for Descant Recorder & Keyboard and Von Fremden Landern und Menschen for Recorder Consort

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