Click here to return to previous page.

John Palmer

member profile picture

Sounds Like:

Ron Sexsmith meets Richie Havens, Bruce Cockburn, and Daniel Lanois


Bruce Cockburn, Neil Young, Joni Mitchel, Richie Havens, Ron Sexsmith, Daniel Lanois, Babatunde Olatunji, Beatles.

Favourite Singer/Songwriter:

Joni Mitchel

Songs by John Palmer

Best Friend

Best Friend

You share your favourite candy
You share your favourite book
To find a better friend, well never mind, I never have to look
You share the colours on your 4-colour ball-point pen
To confide I only have to walk a block and then you’re there
You share your juice at recess
You share your gum in class
You share your homework answers
So that I can pass to high school

Gimme 10, you’re my best friend Ben
Gimme 10, you’re my best friend Ben

You're cool when I am ranting about Canucks all day
You hand-off all the cheat-sheets as you innocently walk my way
You lift the high-jump bar embedded in my lap
To conspire, I only need to know you're there and you've got my back
You never smoke me in poker
never jinx my streak in darts
You never devastate me, well, except when it comes to farting

Gimme 10, you’re my best friend Ben
Gimme 10, you’re my best friend Ben

And we've solved who's involved in taking all those chairs
and why there's never enough lunch or Coke
And we know the truth about the mayonnaise windows
And all the sweet secrets that the cloak room cloaks

You pick me out in the lineup
You let me take a turn
Do repairs during clarification when I learn
You share the extra pizza
Share Nintendo 64
You set me up to spike the ball
the way that I adore, and slam it
You hit me with a good spiral
You help me rhyme my rhyme
You signal fly is open just in time

Gimme 10, you’re my best friend Ben
Gimme 10, you’re my best friend Ben
Hey, paysan!


Everybody's Kissing In Paris

Everybody's Kissing In Paris

Everybody's kissing in Paris
They're smoochin' under jealous gargoyles,
the chaperons of Notre Dame
Cupid's mates osculate at the Musée d'Orsay
where they rendezvous and neck
like the brushstrokes by Lautrec

Everybody's kissing in Paris
Snookums are havin' a snog
by the blushing Virgin of Saint Chapelle
There's lots of lovers locking lips
and steaming up the Louvre
where, I believe, the Mona Lisa seems to approve

Everybody's kissing in Paris
And nowhere do you see more sparking bliss
than Tuileries Garden by Rodin's “The Kiss”
People peckin' without inhibition
Pokin' 'round The Pompidou
by some new exhibition

Everybody's kissing in Paris
In, on, or around the Eiffel Tower,
A perpetual kind of Happy Pucker Power Hour
But my favourite place for tête à tête
is where my lover coos
we haven't kissed here yet

Everybody's kissing
Everybody's kissing
Everybody kissin', it's true
Ou la la, c'est nous (it's us)!


Gulf Isle Getaway

Gulf Isle Getaway

For some it’s a circle of stones by a ruin or a rendezvous at noon
Or maybe that special tune that plays when love attracts your eye,
the toast and taste of champagne, Uclulet cabin in the rain
Or all the games they games they play in a car ride far away

But you and me on a Gulf Isle getaway
Hot tub under cedar trees
That’s got to be the right place for me

Mais oui, c’est la Tower Eiffel en Paris, or the sea in Galilee
Maybe that spark when the energy flows when two souls have been dancin’ a while,
The heat of flamenco and wine where two Niles combine,
Or it’s an Everest mountain to climb to feel you’ve reached your goal

For some it’s winter anywhere but here, ah for a hammock and cooler of beer
Or maybe a scope on a night so clear you see eternity
Alone at a campsite by a Cariboo road or Winabego mode
Or Café Deux Soleils to unload to friends who knows your style

JP - guitar, vocals, seaguls, FX
Charles Knowles - bass
Tom Neville - violin




When you get to heaven, or so the legend goes,
You can tell the Newfoundlander;
the one that wants to go home

A fluid horizon, cumulus sky, semaphore laundry line
Stunted stands of black spruce, puffins in the cliffs,
and peat under your gumboots, to spring down the road.

This sea bring everyone to her harbours;
icebergs and humpback whales
Fog rolls in slow-mo most days
You don’t leave, you tear yourself away from her

Newfieland, the new found land
Newfieland, the new found land

Silurian sandstone, erratics off shore,
Tableland moonscapes of Gros Morne
Carnivorous bog plants, lupine waving hills,
and peat under your gumboots
When you get to heaven, or so the legend goes
You can always tell the Newfie
the one that wants to go home
the one that wants to go home

JP - vocals, guitar, bass & FX programming
Brendan Ostrander - drums
Tom Neville – violin


Only The Wind

Only The Wind

He's under every table for scraps on my plate
His bone's in the yard looking well masticated
In the back of my mind something doesn't fit in
when the noise at the back door is only the wind

He's across every river from here to the Stein
And with each cat that is frozen in a pose that's all spine
it's gonna take me some time for my world not to spin
when the noise at the back door is only the wind

He tore along the landscape ahead of my truck
Covered 80 odd clicks to Penticton
He reminded the racoons not to mess with a wolf
'cause they're keepin' it gangster in his jurisdiction
Poor guy!

He's around every corner, it's like he's still here
His blanket feels cold but my nose swears he's near
It'll take me some time for it all to sink in
that any noise at the back door is only the wind

JP - vocals, guitar
Charles Knowles - bass
Tom Neville – mandolin
Russ Batchelor - harmony




Vancouver, BC

Level of Experience:



Folk | Jazz | Acoustic | Adult Contemporary  | Children's | Contemporary roots  | Francophone | World

I Write:

By myself | With others

I prefer to write:

Lyrics | Melody

Songs Recorded:

Gulf Isle Getaway, Sans Père, Enjoy The Ride, Only The Wind, Jewel, Salute, Lines To Write, Me, Newfieland, Occitune, Won't Be The Same, The Diamond Inside, , Everybody's Kissing In Paris,The Wonder Song (Theme to Knowledge Network Series - Observing And Recording Young Children), Best Friend, and The Cambrian Explosion.

Albums Released:

Salute 2012 The Cambrian Explosion 2013 (with Brighter Lights Thicker Glasses) The Best Of Body Hum (currently being mixed)

Song Placements:

Youtube Knowledge Network


The Great American Song Competition for Only The Wind

Other Credits:

Du Maurier Search For Stars winner, UBC Certificate for Excellence in School Music, played percussion on 10 Carrot Charlotte (Juno Award Winner)

I am interested in:

Networking | Pitching Songs to Artists | Pitching Songs To Tv/Film/Etc. | Getting a Publishing Deal


John Palmer is a singer-songwriter and percussionist that's rooted in acoustic Folk and Jazz, and World Music. John also has a passion to compose computer and found-sound objects to produce a cinematic aesthetic. He recently moved from Vancouver to Pender Island where he performs as a solo artist.

His most recent honor was being a semi-finalist in the 2nd Canadian Songwriting Competition. In the previous year 4 of his songs placing in the semi-finals of the inaugural Canadian Songwriting Competition.

Other feathers in his cap include an Award of Excellence For Music In Education (U.B.C.), and for his songwriting internationally (finalist, Great American Song Competition). John's jazz song Everybody's Kissing In Paris was covered by Anne Bisson.

Palmer's love of Canada is evident in both subject (Gulf Isle Getaway, Pender Island, and Newfieland), and language (Sans Père, Occitune, et Pendant la Pluie). He claims that working in a scrap yard in Hull, Quebec, helped " tune his ears" to the row and flow of French, more than the French taught in (English public) school”.

When he lost 4 fingers in a logging accident, he thought his days as a guitarist were over. Fortunately, his buddy handed him a maraca and said, “now you're a percussionist.” This attitude resulted in John learning West African drumming with the late Babatunde Olatunji, and the the formation of Vancouver's The Martian Embassy Juju Orchestra.

Palmer's effort to challenge of finger-loss led him to revamp the autoharp to play jazz chords, and his articles on this is published in provincial and national journals of music education. He admitted “one of my greatest musical accomplishments was tuning 50 autoharps for a U.B.C. clinic.”

After years of swishing jazz brushes on snare drums and using found-sound objects as percussion instruments, Palmer has more recently settled on playing guitar as his main instrument. He's staunchly committed to open tunings.
Given his drumming experience, it's no surprise that his strumming style is rhythmic and percussive. “My early influences were Bruce Cockburn and Richie Havens, and later, Ron Sexsmith” says Palmer, “I'm ruled by rhythm and a good story.”

John Palmer also enjoys performing with Brighter Lights, Thicker Glasses, (Vancouver quartet), and Three Bricks Shy (west coast islanders quartet).
“You've gotta love playing music with people willing to try any idea, and I hit the jackpot with all these guys” he beams.
John's CD, called Salute, is available through CD Baby and iTunes.

This songwriter has chosen not to share their profile publicly

This songwriter's membership has expired!

This profile does not exist, please check your spelling and try again.