, , , , , , ,

Dad on the porch at the family cabin singing to the grandkids.

Dad on the porch at the family cabin singing to the grandkids.

Dad loved music because he knew it made others happy. It was amazing to see how those older youngens could still kick up their heels and dance to the old music they had loved so well. The joy he gave with his music was truly inspiring.

And so dad left all of us kids with a love and respect for music and an awareness of how it could heal the human soul. He believed that healing came directly from God.

Though not a regular church goer in his earlier years, dad loved God. He always made sure we were at Sunday School and church on Sundays. And there he would be in the pew next to us with a hangover from a few drinks the night before. He told me the first time I talked with him in the hospital in Phoenix that he always felt he needed to go and apologize to God the next day.

When I got to Phoenix the second time dad was very weak. he had the respirator in and couldn’t talk to us but was writing little notes and communicating in other ways. As soon as I got there I asked him, “Dad, do you remember the penny story I wrote for Rejoicing Voices?” He shook his head yes. I took his hand, gave him the five pennies from Burger King, and said, “God gave me something for you. You know how I always loved the movie The Five Pennies?” Yes, again. “Well, God sent these five pennies to you. He wants you to know he’s thinking about you.” He closed his eyes and held on tightly to the pennies until he drifted off to sleep. I took the pennies and kept them. Later, when we buried him, I put them in his coffin.

My favorite scene in The Five Pennies was when, while trying to get his daughter into bed one night, Red sang a song he’d written for her. It was called, of course, The Five Pennies.

This little penny is to wish on
And make your wishes come true
This little penny is to dream on
Dream of all you can do

This little penny is a dancing penny
See how it glitters and it glows
Bright as a whistle
Light as a thistle
Quick, quick as a wink
Up on it’s twinkling toes

This little penny is to laugh on
To see that tears never fall
This little penny
Is the last little penny
And the most important of all

For this penny is to love on
And where love is, heaven is there
So with just five pennies,
if they’re these five pennies
You’ll be a millionaire

~written by Danny Kaye

That was dad’s philosophy of life, that we need to wish and dream, to dance and laugh, and always remember that where love is, there God is also. We certainly didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but we felt like the richest kids in the world because we had Ed Moore for our dad. He left us the best Valentine legacy any father could have.

Music staff