Note by Note: Dear John or Jane | No. 36 | 8.18.21

What are your favorite sounds from childhood? (I’ll give you a minute to ponder….) 

My top picks include listening to my mom play piano downstairs as we fell asleep, the school librarian reading us another chapter, Stevie Wonder singing as we danced, kids inviting me to roller skate or play kickball…and typewriter keys tapping as Mom typed my Dad’s graduate school papers. 

That beautiful, classic typewriter once belonged to my grandfather. It was as heavy as an anchor. I began to wonder whether I could write a song incorporating the cadence of those keys. After discovering a rhythm, I launched into a break-up song tapping on those keys and adding the chime of the return at the end. 

For lyric inspiration, I remembered an expression I’d heard in college – “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” I added more ill-fated images and was off to the races. 

I hope you enjoy the song and video…and I hope you conjure up some treasured childhood sounds. 


Oh, and let’s not break up, 


P.S. This song originally appeared on my 2016 album, “Say My Name”. I love this new acoustic version and our revamped video. 

Joy Zimmerman, a soulful singer/songwriter, explores the everyday and the extraordinary with a captivating voice. Her songs resonate with humor, triumph and humanity. Joy’s seventh studio album, The Canvas Before Us, an acoustic reinvention, is available now.

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