Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to... Lyrics - The Mamas & the Papas

Review The Song (4)



(John Phillips)
I used to live in New York City;
Everything there was dark and dirty.

"And each street lamp was dark and dirty."
(line 2 of 45rpm release version, played on radio 1967).
Just a minor point- an interesting historical note, but many of us who got our music on the radio in 1967 remember that version. My favorite M&P song.-Bob



Outside my window was a steeple
With a clock that always said twelve-thirty.

Young girls are coming to the canyon,
And in the mornings I can see them walking.
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn,
And I can't keep myself from talking.

At first so strange to feel so friendly---
To say good morning and really mean it---
To feel these changes happening in me,
But not to notice till I feel it.

Young girls are coming to the canyon,
And in the mornings I can see them walking.
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn,
And I can't keep myself from talking.

Cloudy waters cast no reflection;
Images of beauty lie there stagnant.
Vibrations bounce in no direction,
But lie there shattered into fragments.

Young girls are coming to the canyon,
(Young girls are in the canyon)
And in the mornings I can see them walking.
(In the mornings I can see them walking)
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn,
(Can no longer keep my blinds drawn)
And I can't keep myself from talking...





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Song about Denny's many women | Reviewer: Meg Huffman | 10/24/10

I am a huge M&P fan and am currently reading "California Dreamin'" by Michelle Phillips. The book tells that after the group let Michelle back in, they all bought their own houses, having once lived all together. According to Michelle, there was a constant stream of girls going to Denny's house in the canyon. John wrote this song based on that fact. The second verse makes me think that John is writing what he's imagining Michelle thinking about the barrage of girls, since she once had an affair with Denny.



Twelve Thirty | Reviewer: Mark | 4/11/08

I used to live in NYC also and at first i thought this song was all about living there. But i couldn't figure out the "canyon" part...thought it might be a metaphor for the "concrete canyons" of Manhattan. Somebody pointed out that it refers to Laurel Canyon in CA, which helps. That enables this song to make more "sense" to me. The "cloudy waters" verse sounds like it's referring to Manhattan, again, so maybe the song shifts back and forth with its references, sort of comparing the coldness and unfriendliness and ugliness of NYC with the nicer qualities of CA.

Anyway, on another level, whether i totally "get" the references or not, this is an incredible song. The music is awesome. The piano fill-ins that accompany the song are awesome, they have a kind of Prokofiev piano concerto-like dissonance which is genius, its a perfect accompaniment to the sentiments expressed in the song. I would agree with anybody who says this is possibly the best song the M&Ps ever wrote, maybe not the "prettiest" but possibly the best.



Twelve Thirty | Reviewer: Jack Beisiegel | 5/15/07

I agree completely with Lou's sentiments. Still gives me goosebumps to hear this song. I love the over the top "Wall of Sound" Phil Spectorish production by Lou Adler. I always thought this would be a great song to play over the credits of some great unmade film.



Twelve-Thirty | Reviewer: Lou Fabian | 9/13/06

This is without doubt the finest song by this California Dreamin' group. The lyrics are somewhat enigmatic (although the song refers to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles) and the melody is haunting and timeless. If this was the only song they ever recorded, it was worth it!





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