U. S. Navy and U. S. Marine Corps
Songs, Hymns, Poems, etc.
|Navy Hymn||"Anchors Away"||Marines
||"The Old Navy"
|11 General Orders|
The "Navy Hymn" is Eternal Father, Strong to Save. The original words were written as a poem in 1860 by William Whiting of Winchester, England, for a student who was about to sail for the United States. The melody, published in 1861, was composed by fellow Englishman, Rev. John Bacchus Dykes, an Episcopalian clergyman.
The hymn, found in most hymnals, is known as the "Navy Hymn" because it is sung at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It is also sung on ships of the Royal Navy (U.K.) and has been translated into French.
Eternal Father was the favorite hymn of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was sung at his funeral in Hyde Park, New York, in April 1945. It was also played by the Navy Band in 1963 as President John F. Kennedy's body was carried up the steps of the U.S. Capitol to lie in state. Roosevelt had served as Secretary of the Navy and Kennedy was a PT boat commander in World War II.
The original words are:
Verse 1: 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!
Verse 2: 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!
Verse 3: 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!
Verse 4: 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 Navy Hymn verses and their authors are:
Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!
Mary C. D. Hamilton (1915)
Oh, Watchful Father who dost keep
Eternal vigil while we sleep
Guide those who navigate on high
Who through grave unknown perils fly,
Receive our oft-repeated prayer
For those in peril in the air.
Emma Mayhew Whiting (1943)
Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, thy law fulfill;
Be thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corps.
J. E. Seim (1966)
Lord, stand beside the men who build,
And give them courage, strength, and skill.
O grant them peace of heart and mind,
And comfort loved ones left behind.
Lord, hear our prayers for all Seabees,
Where'er they be on land or sea.
R. J. Dietrich (1960)
Lord God, our power evermore,
Whose arm doth reach the ocean floor,
Dive with our men beneath the sea;
Traverse the depths protectively.
O hear us when we pray, and keep
Them safe from peril in the deep.
David B. Miller (1965)
O God, protect the women who,
In service, faith in thee renew;
O guide devoted hands of skill
And bless their work within thy will;
Inspire their lives that they may be
Examples fair on land and sea.
Lines 1-4, Merle E. Strickland (1972) and
adapted by James D. Shannon (1973)
Lines 5-6, Beatrice M. Truitt (1948)
Creator, Father, who dost show
Thy splendor in the ice and snow,
Bless those who toil in summer light
And through the cold antarctic night,
As they thy frozen wonders learn;
Bless those who wait for their return.
L. E. Vogel (1965)
Eternal Father, Lord of hosts,
Watch o'er the men who guard our coasts.
Protect them from the raging seas
And give them light and life and peace.
Grant them from thy great throne above
The shield and shelter of thy love.
Eternal Father, King of birth,
Who didst create the heaven and earth,
And bid the planets and the sun
Their own appointed orbits run;
O hear us when we seek thy grace
For those who soar through outer space.
J. E. Volonte (1961)
Creator, Father, who first breathed
In us the life that we received,
By power of thy breath restore
The ill, and men with wounds of war.
Bless those who give their healing care,
That life and laughter all may share
. Galen H. Meyer (1969)
Adapted by James D. Shannon (1970)
God, Who dost still the restless foam,
Protect the ones we love at home.
Provide that they should always be
By thine own grace both safe and free.
O Father, hear us when we pray
For those we love so far away.
Hugh Taylor (date Unk)
Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
And those who on the ocean ply;
Be with our troops upon the land,
And all who for their country stand:
Be with these guardians day and night
And may their trust be in thy might.
Author Unknown (1955)
O Father, King of earth and sea,
We dedicate this ship to thee.
In faith we send her on her way;
In faith to thee we humbly pray:
O hear from heaven our sailor's cry
And watch and guard her from on high!
And when at length her course is run,
Her work for home and country done,
Of all the souls that in her sailed
Let not one life in thee have failed;
But hear from heaven our sailor's cry,
And grant eternal life on high!
Click here to hear a musical version of "Eternal Father Strong to Save"
performed by the U.S. Naval Academy Band
Click here to hear a vocal version of "Eternal Father Strong to Save"
performed by the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters
William Whiting (1825-1878) was born in Kensington, England, and educated at Chapham and Winchester. Because of his musical ability, he became master of Winchester College Choristers' School. While best known for Eternal Father, Whiting also published two poetry collections: Rural Thoughts (1851) and Edgar Thorpe, or the Warfare of Life (1867). He died at Winchester.
John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876) was born in Hull, England, and by age 10 was the assistant organist at St. John's Church, Hull, where his grandfather was vicar. He studied at Wakefield and St. Catherine's College, earning a B.A. in Classics in 1847. He cofounded the Cambridge University Musical Society. He was ordained as curate of Malton in 1847. For a short time, he was canon of Durham Cathedral, then precentor (1849-1862). In 1862 he became vicar of St. Oswald's, Durham. He published sermons and articles on religion but is best known for over 300 hymn tunes he composed. He died in Sussex at age 53.
The word "weigh" in this sense comes from the archaic word meaning to heave, hoist or raise. "Aweigh" means that that action has been completed. The anchor is aweigh when it is pulled from the bottom. This event is duly noted in the ship's log.
Lieut. Charles A. Zimmermann, USN, a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, had been selected as the bandmaster of the Naval Academy Band in 1887 at the age of 26. His father, Charles Z. Zimmermann, had played in the band during the Civil War years. Early in his career, Lieut. Zimmermann started the practice of composing a march for each graduating class. By 1892, "Zimmy", as he was affectionately known by the midshipmen, became so popular that he was presented with a gold medal by that year's class. More gold medals followed as Zimmermann wrote a march for each succeeding class
In 1906, Lieut. Zimmerman was approached by Midshipman First Class Alfred Hart Miles with a request for a new march. As a member of the Class of 1907, Miles and his classmates "were eager to have a piece of music that would be inspiring, one with a swing to it so it could be used as a football marching song, and one that would live forever."
Supposedly, with the two men seated at the Naval Academy Chapel organ, Zimmermann composed the tune and Miles set the title and wrote to two first stanzas in November 1906. This march was played by the band and sung by the brigade at the 1906 Army-Navy football game later that month, and for the first time in several seasons, Navy won. This march, Anchors Aweigh, was subsequently dedicated to the Academy Class of 1907 and adopted as the official song of the U.S. Navy. The concluding stanza was written by Midshipman Royal Lovell, Class of 1926.
Stand Navy down the field, sails set to the sky.
We'll never change our course, so Army you steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll up the score, Navy, Anchors Aweigh.
Sail Navy down the field and sink the Army, sink the Army Grey.
Get underway, Navy, Decks cleared for the fray,
We'll hoist true Navy Blue So Army down your Grey-y-y-y.
Full speed ahead, Navy; Army heave to,
Furl Black and Grey and Gold and hoist the Navy, hoist the Navy Blue
Blue of the Seven Seas; Gold of God's great sun
Let these our colors be Till all of time be done-n-n-ne,
By Severn shore we learn Navy's stern call:
Faith, courage, service true With honor over, honor over all.
by George D. Lottman
It is Verse 2 that is most widely sung.
Stand, Navy, out to sea, Fight our battle cry;
We'll never change our course, So vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll out the TNT, Anchors Aweigh. Sail on to victory
And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!
Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh.
Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.
Through our last night on shore, drink to the foam,
Until we meet once more. Here's wishing you a happy voyage home.
In the 1916 Lucky Bag, the Academy yearbook, the class prepared a surprise for Lieut. Zimmermann. On page one was an impressive photo of the bandmaster in his full dress uniform, and on the next, a moving tribute to his devotion to the Naval Academy. Unfortunately, Lieut. Zimmermann did not live to enjoy this tribute. He became ill and died suddenly on Sunday morning, Jan. 16, 1916, of a brain hemorrhage. He was 54 years old. He was given a full military funeral, with midshipmen serving as pallbearers, and classes were suspended so the entire regiment could attend when he was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery on Jan. 19, 1916.
The Marines' hymn is the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps. It is often also referred to as "The Marine Corps' Hymn". It is the oldest official song in the U.S. Armed Forces. The song has an obscure origin—the words date from the 19th century, but no one knows the author. The music is from the opera Genevieve de Brabant by Jacques Offenbach, which had its début in Paris in 1859. The Marine Corps secured a copyright on the song on August 19, 1919, but it is now in the public domain.
The initial verse is "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli". The Montezuma phrase refers to the Battle of Chapultepec. The Tripoli phrase refers actions during the First Barbary War and the Battle of Derna.
From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.
Our Flag's unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job, the United States Marines.
Here's health to you and to our Corps, which we are proud to serve.
In many a strife we've fought for life and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.
Click here to hear the "Marine's Hymn"
A guard or sentry obeys two sets of orders. The eleven General Orders and "special orders" that are given by the petty officer of the watch. Below are the eleven General Orders which are memorized by all naval personnel during Basic Training.
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
Written by the English Poet Laureate John Masefield (1878-1967)
"A Sailors Poem"
Come gather round me lads and I'll tell you a thing or two;
About the way we ran the Navy in nineteen sixty two.
When wooden ships and iron men were barely out of sight;
I am going to give you some facts just to set the record right.
We wore the ole bell bottoms, with a flat hat on our head;
Always hit the rack at night and never "went to bed."
Our uniforms were worn ashore and we were mighty proud;
Never thought of wearing civvies, in fact they were never allowed.
What happened to the KiYi brush, and the old salt-water bath;
Holy stoning decks at night cause you stirred old Bosn's wrath!
We always had our gedunk stand and lots of pogey bait;
And it always took a hitch or two just to make a rate.
In your seabag all your skivvies, were neatly stopped and rolled;
And the blankets on your sack had better have a three-inch fold.
Your little ditty bag, it is hard to believe just how much it held;
You wouldn't go ashore with pants that hadn't been spiked and belled.
We had scullery maids and succotash and good old SOS;
And when you felt like topping off, you headed for the mess.
Oh we had our belly robbers but there weren't too many gripes;
For the deck apes were never hungry and there were no starving snipes.
Now you never hear of Davy Jones, Shellbacks or Polliwogs;
And you never splice the mainbrace to receive your daily grog.
Now you never have to dog a watch or stand the main vent;
You even tie your lines today, back in my time they were bent.
We were all two-fisted drinkers and no one thought you sinned;
If you staggered back aboard your ship, three sheets to the wind.
And with just a couple hours of sleep you regained your usual luster;
Bright eyed and bushy tailed, you still made morning muster.
Rocks and shoals have long since gone, and now it's UCMJ;
Then the old man handled every thing if you should go astray.
Now they steer the ships with dials, and I wouldn't be surprised;
If some day they sailed them from the beach computerized.
So when my earthly hitch is over, and the good Lord picks the best;
I'll walk right up to HIM and say, "Sir, I have but one request.
Let me sail the seas of Heaven in a coat of Navy blue;
Like I did so long ago on earth way back in nineteen-sixty-two.
This poem was sent in by Steve Chase - President, USS Little Rock Association.
Its author and origin is not know.
"The Old Navy"
The old salt spat at a passing cat,
And borrowed a match from me,
Then scratched a light where his pants were tight,
And spake quite fervently;
"I'll swear, by gum, that it strikes me dumb - -
This kind of a navee,
With not a sail, nor even a brail,
And dog watches drinking tea.
'Twas some years back that I took a crack
At serving Uncle Sam;
An' taint the same except maybe the name,
As 'twas in them days by dam!
We went aloft if the Old Man coughed,
Or if it began to blow;
And got a root from a gov'ment boot
If maybe we went too slow.
A trick at the wheel took an arm o'steel,
An' lots of plain beef y'see,
But now it's did by a high school kid,
An' patent electricitee.
We got our rum and a slap o' slum
Almost every day or so,
An' moldy bits of ship's biskits
If stores were running low.
Today I seed how these youngsters feed - -
The mess what they got each day,
An' strike me pink if I didn't think
I'd went to a swell cafay.
They give 'em ham and a lot of jam,
An' butter an' toast and pie;
An' serve 'em prunes with officers' spoons - -
Now scuttle me if I lie!
It's kind o' strange, this turrible change,
What's come to an honest trade - -
They print the log, an' instead of grog
Drink sody and leminade.
An' tell me true, like I'm tellin' you,
They wash almost every day,
Which shows how a sailor goes clear
Mad for a little pay.
It used to be that a man at sea
Was a sailor. It makes me bile
To see the way which they cruise today
With radiums, gas an' 'ile'.
An' not content to remain in sight - -
On top where a man should sail,
They go an' man a sheet- iron can
An' dive like a blasted whale.
They think they're smart, but fruzzle my heart,
An' shiver my timbers too,
If under sea's any place to be,
Fur a self respecting crew."
The old salt spat, donned his hat,
Gave a hitch to those trousers of his
He'd said his say - - so he creaked away
All itches and rheumatiz.
For sailorman since the flood began,
And Noah put out to sea,
Has raised his plaint - -
"Oh! The Navy Ain't
What the Navy used to be.