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The song was written by William Whiting, an Anglican churchman from Winchester, United Kingdom. Whiting grew up near the ocean on the coasts of England and at the age of thirty-five had felt his life spared by God when a violent storm nearly claimed the ship he was travelling on, instilling a belief in God's command over the rage and calm of the sea.
The song was first published in 1861 in the hymnal Hymns Ancient and Modern. It quickly became popular among seafarers and was adopted by the Royal Navy as its official hymn. The song was also adopted by the United States Navy and is still sung at naval ceremonies today.
One little known fact about the song is that it was almost not written. Whiting had been struggling with writer's block for some time and he was not sure if he could write anything that would be good enough. However, he decided to go for a walk along the beach, hoping that the fresh air and the sound of the waves would inspire him.
As it turned out, the walk was exactly what he needed. He was so inspired by the beauty of the ocean that he wrote the song in just a few hours. The song was a huge success and it helped to launch Whiting's career as a hymn writer.
"Eternal Father, Strong to Save" is a beautiful and inspiring song that celebrates the power of God and the beauty of the sea. It is a song that has been enjoyed by generations of seafarers and it is sure to continue to be popular for many years to come.
Here are some other little known facts about the song: