Note by Note: Dear John or Jane | No. 13 | 4.18.19

What were your favorite sounds from childhood? 

(I’ll give you a minute to ponder this…) 

My top picks include my mom playing piano downstairs as we went to sleep, the school librarian reading us another chapter, Stevie Wonder singing as we danced, kids calling out to invite me to roller skate or play kickball, typewriter keys tapping as my mom typed my dad’s graduate school papers… 

I’m old enough that this particular typewriter was a beautiful, black classic model and heavy as an anchor. It once belonged to my grandfather. 

The cadence of those keys and the frequent chime of the return led me to write a song with the typewriter as its foundation. I started by finding a rhythm on typewriter keys and then launching into a break-up song. 

After remembering an expression I first heard in college -- “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” -- I thought of other ill-fated images, and I was off to the races. 

A big thanks to my stepdaughter, Samantha Wilkinson, for helping us create this video. It was lots of fun to find the assorted images and figure out how to depict the psychedelic guitar solo. 

I hope you enjoy it too. 

And see whether you can conjure up some of those treasured childhood sounds… 

Let’s not break up, 


P.S. Speaking of childhood, I’ve just released a brand new album called To the Girl. You can find more information on my website: As you might imagine, I’ll be blogging and videoing about the songs soon.


Joy Zimmerman is a soulful singer-songwriter known for compelling vocals, inventive songs, and captivating performances. A traveling musician based in Kansas City, Joy released To the Girl, her sixth album of original music, on April 5, 2019.  Joy is a multi-instrumentalist whose eclectic music might be best described as folk rock with extra helpings of other favorite genres. 

Joy's songwriting awards include an American Songwriter Lyric Contest Honorable Mention and eight Walnut Valley Festival NewSong Showcase wins. She has recorded three albums in Nashville and three in Kansas City.

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