John Bottomley

John Bottomley


Imaginative singer songwriter.


John was born in Toronto in 1960. He traveled around living in Ottawa, London England, Cold Lake Alberta, Lahr Germany and back to Toronto by the time he was 20. In England he studied classical piano and sang in the school Choir. Later in Germany bought his first guitar. A framus. At age 16 he started playing in bands and played the Black forest area of southern Germany. He cut his teeth with a band called Tulpa In Toronto. They were early pioneers of the Queen street scene. A punky,Rock, Raggea outfit.. Releasing there first record “Mosaic Fish.”on the now legendary Label Midnight Music in London in 1985. They played the clubs. Hundreds of them. In 1986 they were a frequent stay at CBGB’s in New York City. Hilly Krystal the owner managed them for a while and signed Tulpa to his Label “Off the board records.” They released a live album. Hilly wrote a book called“This aint no Disco” The story of CBGB’s where Tulpa is mentioned.

In 1990 John released his first Solo record Called “Library of the Sun.” It won best record of the year at Ottawa’s college radio station. Latent records signed him and later BMG directly. In 1992 he released “Songs with the Ornamental Hermits.” It won a Canadian Juno Award. In 1995 he released Blackberry which spawned a couple of top ten Hits. The Song “You Lose and you Gain.” Went to Number 3 on the Canadian Record Chart. It won a Socan award for one of the top songs of 1995. In 1998 he released a very different record called “Raggle Taggle.” It was nominated for Male vocalist of the year by the west coast music awards..In the year 2000 he moved to Bowen Island and released The Crown of Life, Star in the Singing grove, on His own Crane/Bag label just like he did in the beginning. Gentle acoustic recordings. He moved again into the mountains and released Songpoet, His song “ I Drifted by the Creek.” was a semi-finalist in the ISC awards. (International songwriting contest in America). In 2009 he released The Mountain Hammered Vol 1 and 2. His most current recording is called “ The Healing Dream.” A look back and a look forward.

Of his music, john say’s “I try not to trap my music in any style as that could be dangerous.” I have all kinds of songs. Ghost songs, Story songs, border ballads, Fairy tale, and majical ballads, Fable songs,

His work shows a musical and literal sense. At times otherwordly. Utopian even.

“ I have busked on the street, sang in clubs, music halls, theatres, fun fairs and festivals. There have been lots of highlights, and many more to come.



2010-The Healing dream

2009-The Mountain hammered vol 1

2009- the Mountain hammered vol 2


2004-Star in the Singing Grove

2000-The Crown of Life

1998-Raggle Taggle


1992-Songs with the Ornamental Hermits

1990-Library of the Sun

With the Band Tulpa

1986- Live off the board CBGB’s New York.

1985-Mosaic Fish


Ghosts of Gold

Written By: John Bottomley

Hiram was hammerin on an old tin roof
singing roll along roll along silvery moon
Lizzie put on her dancin shoes
Brushed with a drum as she swept with her broom
Hazel had a magical light in her eye
Bumble bees fingers in the rhubarb pie
Gentle Annie was washin her feet
A basket of champane came floatin down the creek

Tie yi yippi
Tie yi yippi
Tie yi yippi yippi yippi yippi yea

Rhudaby was buskin strummin with a galup
sending his songs to far away planets
The waterwheel gambler drank whiskey in the jar
Tenderffots skipped under the midnight star
Foxtail knockin on a backyard door
Billy was blowin on an old tin horn
Stranger in the corner got a wobbly walk
Long black hat drippin from the raindrops

Tie yi yippi
Tie yi yippi
Tie yi yippi yippi yippi yippi yea

Down the road i had to go
might of been the thunder
might of been the sorrow
might of been the ghosts of gold

Fair maid by the window she's drinking tea
Listening to a bird singing in a tree
She's lookin in the sunlight like a morning dove
Writing a letter to her own true love
On the edge of town a church choir sings
Liftin the spirit of everything
The hurricane rum will keep you warm
Through the long winter nights
Through the cold driftin snow

Tie yi yippi
Tie yi yippi
Tie yi yippi yippi yippi yippi yea

I drifted by the Creek

Written By: John Bottomley

The sunlight hit the window of my room
I remember the wind
in the tall grass by the tomb
Ruby my dear its been a gallant summer dream
As i drifted by the creek

The perfumed scent of the holy rose
she pinned a wild flower on my crinkled coat
planted a gentle kiss on my cheek
As i drifted by the creek

The lantern parade in the paper autumn moon
As the sun went down
on the waterwheel town
I found you
like all the secret gestures
That the wild horses keep
I drifted by the creek

I set my sights on the diamonds of tomorrow
Far from the pools
Of deep haunted sorrow
By the sweet troubadour trees
with a wet hankerchief
I drifted by the creek


The Healing Dream (2010)
The Mountain Hammered vol 1 and 2 (2009)
Songpoet (2007)
Star in the Singing grove (2004)
The Crown of Life part 2 (2002)
The Crown of Life part 1 (2000)
Raggle Taggle (1998)
Blackberry (1995)
Songs with the Ornamnetal Hermits (1992)
Library of the Sun (1990)

With the Band TULPA

Live at CBGB's (1986)
Mosaic Fish (1985)
Apologize/mystical dreams single (1983)


Star in the Singing Grove (2004)
Here's the Candy (2001)
Triskelion (1995)

Set List

I have about 30 or 40 originals i do live. Also
i have a long list of traditional covers with Jigs and reels and popular songs.


You Lose and You gain
A Candle in the Dark
Take you Higher
Elsie Strawlight
I drifted by the Creek
Klee Wyck
The Ballad of Charlie Pillberry
Panic Wreck
Fury of the Funnel
Sarah Whitehead
Carry Carry Carry
Mandolin Clown
Ghosts of Gold
The River
Golden Age
The Ballad of Jacob Peck
SHe Lay down by the water

Cover Songs
Handsome Molly
Northwest Passage
Witch of Westmoorland
Nine pound Hammer
Banks of Ponchatrain