The performer Pink, a.k.a. Alecia Beth Moore, is known for being a rock ’n’ roll rebel. Indeed, her fans have always loved her wild side. Occasionally, however, she changes tack and sings a slower song. And while performing in New York City in November 2015, Pink played something touching and emotional, a tune called “I Have Seen the Rain.” The song’s subject is the war in Vietnam, and she invited a very special individual up on stage to perform the ditty with her.
Pink has never been afraid to express her emotions via her songs. What’s more, it’s part of her appeal. She’s also spoken out against having a manufactured image. “I found that selling records wasn’t enough. I told myself after the first record that I’d rather go back home and start over again than be trapped in a one-dimensional world any longer,” she told <i>The Sydney Morning Herald</i> in 2003.
And Pink has cited lots of different influences upon her work over the years. They’ve included Janis Joplin, Madonna and 4 Non Blondes. Pink picked up her first singing competition trophy by performing Madonna’s song “Oh Father,” and as a teenager she was obsessed with 4 Non Blondes vocalist Linda Perry and her band. “I used to sit at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m…. screaming 4 Non Blondes out the window until the cops were called,” she said on a 2012 episode of <i>Behind the Music</i>.
Pink’s early life also influenced her sound. You see, when she was still a young child, her parents sadly divorced. And she began acting out because of this domestic drama. After she hit adolescence, in fact, she became so difficult to be around that her mother threw her out of the house. Pink was subsequently looked after by various other loved ones before eventually going to live with her dad, James Moore.
“Other people’s parents wouldn’t let me come over when I was a kid,” Pink told <i>The Guardian</i> in October 2017. “I was the s**thead. No one wanted their kid anywhere near me. I was the runaway, I was the fuck-up, I was the one that had the mouth. I was always in trouble.”
So the singer and her parents had a difficult relationship for a while, but their differences now appear to be largely in the past. “My dad and I are the best of friends. We talk every day. It’s good,” Pink told <i>Blender</i> in 2002. Next she moved on to the matter of her mother. “We have an understanding,” the star said. “I love her very much, but I don’t agree with who she is. Then again, I’m sure she doesn’t agree with who I am, either. We accept each other from a distance.”
Pink eventually wrote a song about her parents’ separation, “Family Portrait,” which appears on her album M!ssundaztood. It’s told from the perspective of Pink as a child and features lines such as “I promise I’ll be better, Daddy please don’t leave,” and “I don’t wanna have to split the holidays. I don’t want two addresses.”
“After ‘Family Portrait,’ I was like, ‘I should not have done this,’” Pink told Entertainment Weekly in 2003. “I took it home to my mom, and she cried for four days. It was s**t we never talked about. And my mom was like, ‘I didn’t know that the divorce affected you that deeply.’ And I’m like, ‘It didn’t. I don’t think it did. I just needed to write that song.’”
In 2012 Pink again talked to Entertainment Weekly about the song’s repercussions. “That was from a poem that I wrote when I was nine when my dad left… I’ve seen my dad cry three times, and that was one of them. That was awful,” she said. “That was a song I wrote for me, and I didn’t realize how much it was going to hurt them.”
Nonetheless, during an interview with Vulture in 2017, Pink listed “Family Portrait” as one of the best songs she’d ever formulated. “It healed me, or a part of me, that might never have been healed,” she explained. “And it created an interesting experience with my family when I played it for them for the first time.”
“There were a lot of tears for many days. It was like picking up the rug and getting the dust out. Really just ripping the band-aid off,” Pink continued. “For the first time as an adult, it was me talking to my parents about what [life] was like as a kid. I had to apologize to my stepmom for the line ‘I don’t want a stepbrother anyways.’ It was just a real and painful experience that I’m glad we had.”
Pink’s own family life ended up going a little more smoothly, at least at first. She embarked on a relationship with motocross rider Carey Hart in 2001 and subsequently decided to marry him. She popped the big question by holding up a sign reading “Will You Marry Me? I’m serious!” while he was mid-race. Hart said yes.
However, Pink and Hart’s relationship later hit a rough patch. Early in 2008, in fact, news broke that the married couple had split up. “The most important thing for you all to know is that Carey and I love each other so, so much. This breakup is not about cheating, anger or fighting,” Pink wrote on her website at the time. “I know it sounds like cliché bulls**t, but we are best friends, and we will continue to be.”
But by 2010 Pink had reconciled with her husband. It turned out that she’d done so in an unusual way, as she revealed to Redbook in 2013. Pink explained that she’d made Hart a photo album of “all the photos of our entire relationship” and every card she’d ever received from him. Additionally, she included the unsigned divorce papers and waited to see if Hart would sign them. He didn’t.
When Pink became pregnant with her first child in 2010, it was noted that she told Ellen DeGeneres before the singer informed her own father. That’s right: only when Pink appeared on DeGeneres’ talk show did Moore learn about the big news. “It still has not been confirmed to me. I last spoke with my daughter two weeks ago, and she didn’t mention anything,” Moore told Radar Online.
Nevertheless, before Pink’s child arrived in 2011, Moore gave another interview to Radar Online in which he seemingly backtracked. He denied that he’d fallen out with his famous daughter. “The baby is due very soon, and Pink cannot wait to become a mother,” Moore stated. “I have spoken to her recently, and we are really looking forward to going out to see the baby in California.”
“I do not know how the stories started, but there is no rift between my daughter and I. We are all excited, naturally,” Moore added. And his granddaughter was born in June 2011, and Pink named her Willow Sage. She chose the name because during her youth there was a willow tree close to her house, she told HELLO! magazine.
Pink and Hart went on to have another child, whom the couple called Jameson Moon. This time, mind you, the inspiration came from members of her family. “My dad’s name is James, and my brother’s name is Jason. [Carey and I] are both Irish, Carey’s middle name is Jason, and Jameson – we like whiskey. That’s a no brainer,” she had told Access Hollywood in 2010.
Pink’s brother Jason is in the army, in fact. And when Pink performed at the Super Bowl in 2018, Hart snapped a photo of Jason saluting as she sang. “My brother in law Lieutenant Colonel Jason Moore, during the national anthem that his sister is singing – at the super bowl,” Hart wrote on Instagram at the time.
However, in January 2019 Hart sparked controversy when he posted a video on Instagram of seven-year-old Willow firing a gun. “I’m raising the kids with knowledge of firearms, how to handle them, shoot them, store them and avoid them in uneducated hands,” Hart wrote.
Pink herself reportedly used to carry a gun, after all. “My first was when I was younger and going out to clubs on my own,” she told Blender in 2002. “Before I got wise and realized gay clubs were the best place a single girl could go, I went to regular ones, and I always got so much hassle. It could get pretty frightening, so I wanted protection. Carrying a loaded gun made me feel safe.”
Pink’s song “I Have Seen the Rain” may not be about guns, but it is about survival and hope. However, she didn’t write the track. It was actually penned by Vietnam veteran Jim Moore. One verse goes, “Drop out, burn out, sold your home/Oh, they said I should’ve been more/Probably so if I hadn’t have been/In that crazy damn Vietnam war.”
The song featured on Pink’s 2006 studio album I’m Not Dead – a critical and commercial hit. When Rolling Stone reviewed the album, they noted that “I Have Seen the Rain” was an “old-school anti-war [song].” And it wasn’t the only such track on the record.
I’m Not Dead also featured the song “Dear Mr. President.” The lyrics were addressed to then-President George W. Bush and expressed Pink’s opposition to the Iraq War, as well as other aspects of Bush’s presidency. In the music video for the track, Pink prefaced it as “the most important song I’ve ever written.”
In 2017 Pink told Vulture she’d played “Dear Mr. President” to her dad when she had first written it. “I was really nervous to do it, because he has strong opinions, and so do I. He said, ‘You know, honey, I’m glad I fought for your right to say whatever you want.’ Because… soldiers – they’re fighting for your freedom to say what you want, and be who you are. I appreciate that sentiment.”
And in 2015 Pink performed a concert in New York City, and she had a little surprise for her fans. That’s right: the writer of “I Have Seen the Rain” was right there with her. “He wrote a song about 40 years ago in Vietnam,” Pink explained. Now, for the first time in his life, the veteran was going to perform in front of a crowd. “Can we get my favorite person in the whole world out tonight?” Pink asked. Then, addressing the audience, she introduced a guest who was potentially unexpected. “My daddy, Mr. Jim Moore.”
“I Can Feel the Rain” is a very important song for Pink, in fact. Seeing as how her father wrote it so long ago, she was therefore able to use the track to learn how to sing harmonies as a child. “It’s the most adorable experience for a father and daughter to share,” the artist told MTV in 2006. “He’s just such a folk singer, I just love it. It felt like the ’60s.”
Furthermore, Pink also spoke about her father during an interview with The Guardian in 2006. The singer was questioned about Vietnam and how serving in the foreign country had shaped her dad’s personality. “He was an abused child, he went to Catholic school, then he volunteered for Vietnam to get away from it. Yeah, he was a badass,” Pink explained.
Moore’s experiences in the war ended up affecting his whole family. “Full-contact karate. Guerrilla warfare. He’s insane,” Pink recalled. “I grew up with rocket-launchers in my garage,” she added. Before he turned 40, moreover, Moore wouldn’t even discuss his time in the army.
“That was when he started this Vietnam Veterans Chapter 210 of Bucks County,” Pink explained. “He sought out all of the veterans that he knew who were in the county and asked them to join this thing where they would get together and have fundraisers for homeless people and senior citizens. And they would get together, and they would talk. It was like group therapy.”
Pink herself was at some of those gatherings, even though she was still a young child at the time. “Seeing these grown men get up and weep in front of 20 other men. And women!” she told The Guardian. “To see military women – my stepmother was an army nurse in Vietnam. We would march on Washington, march for people’s rights when I was eight years old.”
Yes, Pink also touched upon her relationship with her father in the same interview. “He’s definitely not the easiest guy,” she admitted. “But I can get to him like no one else can. And I push his buttons, and we’ve had falling outs, and he left, and I didn’t speak to him, and I was on drugs, and he was over there and… we’ve had our times.”
What Pink knew of her father’s previous life affected her deeply. In fact, she has another song about his experiences, titled “My Vietnam,” which is part of her M!ssundaztood album. It opens with a lyric about Moore, “Daddy was a soldier/He taught me about freedom/Peace and all the great things/That we take advantage of.”
Moreover, Pink still seems to have a pretty close relationship with her father. In 2018, for example, she posted a watermarked picture of herself and Moore. “Of all the photos I could’ve posted of my dad and I, for Father’s Day I wanted to post this one,” she wrote. “This sh**ty photo was taken by a sh**ty paparazzi in New York the day I announced that my marriage was broken and over. Feb 21. I will remember this day forever.”
But, crucially, Pink’s father was there for her at that difficult time. “I walked out of my hotel room alone, and this paparazzi said to me, ‘How’s the divorce going, Pink?’ And after I told him a couple of things I won’t repeat here, I cried. I turned around. And I went back inside. I called my dad,” Pink wrote on Instagram.
“He came right away. He jumped on a train, no questions asked and was in my room three hours later,” Pink continued. But there was more. “He said, ‘Let’s go. We’re goin’ out.’ Here we are. He has been my person all of my life.” She revealed that her father had “fought monsters in my closet – and monsters that posed as principals in school buildings, you name it.”
Pink wrote of her father, “[He has] taken on the world for and with me, no questions asked. He made me feel important, he made me think I was worth loving, he taught me how to do it all myself. And when no one else was there, he told me to love myself.” The songstress continued, “I thank my stars for this man, that he was strong enough not only to fight his own monsters but mine too, and now my kids’. I love you Daddy sir.”
Yes, Pink has a distinct personality both on stage and off, and she puts it all down to the way her father raised her. “His nickname was Mr. Cause. He raised me on ‘to thine own self be true.’ Sometimes you have to stand alone for what you believe in, and you have to stick up for the little guy,” she told The Guardian in 2017.
And, of course, Pink’s father helped her find her musical voice. “I grew up with a Vietnam vet dad and a Vietnam vet stepmom and a nurse for a mom, people that have always been of service… I grew up listening to rock and roll and, you know, protest music,” she told NPR in 2017. Nowadays, then, Pink surely feels she is giving worthy causes a platform. “I feel like with songs like ‘What About Us’ and ‘Dear Mr. President’ and even ‘Stupid Girls’ I’m doing my part a little bit.”
What’s more, there might one day even be another father-daughter duet. “My dad says I haven’t written that signature song, so I’d like to do that for him,” Pink told Metro in 2017. “Apparently, I haven’t done that yet. I have to work on my writing skills.” So here’s to hoping that could happen in the future.