The Eau Gallie High School Alma Mater

Eternal Father, Strong to Save
(The Navy Hymn)

Words: William Whiting, 1860. He wrote the lyrics as a poem for a student about to sail for America.

Music: "Melita," John B. Dykes, 1860. Dykes fittingly named the tune after a locale associated with a Biblical shipwreck. Melita was the island the Apostle Paul reached after his ship went down (Acts 28:1); today we know it as the isle of Malta.

In America, "Eternal Father" is often called the "Navy Hymn," because it is sung at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It is also sung on ships of the British Royal Navy and has been translated into French. It was the favorite hymn of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and was sung at his funeral in Hyde Park, New York, in April 1945. The Navy Band played it in 1963 as U.S. President John Kennedy's body was carried up the steps of the U.S. Capitol to lie in state. Roosevelt served as Secretary of the Navy and Kennedy was a PT boat commander in World War II.

It was reported (and disputed) that this hymn was sung as the Titanic sank. It was sung during the film Titanic, which won the Academy Award for best picture of 1997.

Click here to hear the U.S. Navy Bandís Sea Chanters sing this hymn.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who biddest 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 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 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 of praise from land and sea.

Taken from


The Eau Gallie High School Alma Mater

Click here to hear the EGHS Alma Mater performed by the EGHS Symphonic Band.

Eau Gallie High School, strong and true,
Our pledge to thee, red, gold, and blue,
When o'er the seas of life we go,
Though tossed by storm both to and fro,
One cherished mem'ry calms our cry,
It is of thee, Eau Gallie High.