Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)

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"Twelve Thirty"
Single by The Mamas & the Papas
from the album The Papas & The Mamas
Released 1967
Format 7" single
Genre Pop rock, folk rock, psychedelic pop
Length 3:24
Label Dunhill
Writer(s) John Phillips[1]
Producer(s) Lou Adler
The Mamas & the Papas singles chronology
"Dancing Bear"
"Twelve Thirty"
"Safe in My Garden"

"Twelve Thirty" a.k.a. "Twelve-thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)", the song's main refrain, is a song by The Mamas & the Papas, which was the lead single from the album The Papas & The Mamas. The song peaked at number 20 in the US, but failed to chart in the UK.

The song was written by John Phillips[1] shortly after the band had relocated to Southern California in 1965. It is often cited as the band's last great single.[2] In a 1968 interview,[3] Phillips cited this arrangement as an example of "well arranged two-part harmony moving in opposite directions".[1]

Jim Ward of Rolling Stone, said "Twelve Thirty" was "the last recording of the self-proclaimed 'Golden Era'", he added, "It's probably the best realized song the group has recorded."[4]

The song was inspired by Laurel Canyon, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.[5] The song was also inspired by the experience of living in New York City, where a clock on a church steeple, always said Twelve-Thirty. ((And the clock was never fixed). The song fades out during the repeat of the final Chorus.

Track listing[edit]

7" Vinyl
  1. "Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)" (Phillips) — 3:24
  2. "Straight Shooter" (Phillips) — 2:57

Other recordings[edit]

"Twelve-thirty" was covered by Gábor Szabó and the California Dreamers on the album Wind, Sky and Diamonds (1967) and by Autoliner on their debut album, Life on Mars (1999).


  1. ^ a b c John Phillips interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  2. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "Twelve-Thirty: Song Review". Allmusic.
  3. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "O-S interviews" (audio). Pop Chronicles. 
  4. ^ Ward, Jim (6 July 1968). "Album Reviews: The Mamas & The Papas". Rolling Stone Archived at Wayback Machine. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Eliscu, Jenny (11 December 2008). "Hot Scene: The Return to Laurel Canyon". Rolling Stone Archived at Wayback Machine. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 

External links[edit]