"Twelve-thirty (young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon)" as written by and John Edmund Andrew Phillips....
I used to live in New York City
Everything there was dark and dirty
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
And 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

Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

"Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)" as written by John Edmund Andrew Phillips

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentBeautiful song. Has a melancholy, bittersweet feel to it. Interesting vocal arrangement too. It sounds to me like the girls and guys switch up on lead and harmony at various points throughout the song, and not at neat, tidy points. It’s not like they switch verses or one does the verses while the other does the chorus. It’s scattered among phrases.

    I wish I knew the meanings of all the lyrics. Knowing how many drugs John Phillips did, the song may not really be about anything more than his stream of consciousness. The part about cloudy waters and vibrations bouncing and shattering, I can’t figure out. Maybe I’m over thinking it.

    I believe I read in one of the biographies of the group/members that it’s like two songs combined, with the verses being one song about one thing and the chorus being another song about something else. The title seems to follow that idea.

    I do know that all four of them were living in New York City at some point and that John did live near a building that had a broken clock on a steeple. There are stereotypical comments on NYC and LA in the song, with NYC being “dark and dirty” and LA being a very happy place to be. Of course, the group struggled in NYC and found great success in LA. Had that been switched, the song may have been different, if it existed at all.

    I also read that during one of John and Michelle’s many breaks from their marriage, John moved in with Denny in Denny’s house in Laurel Canyon (I think that’s the one.). Being big deals at the time and effectively single, they had a steady steam of groupies in and out of the house. That’s where the “young girls coming to the canyon” came from. John wrote very personal songs, pretty much airing his dirty laundry in many of them. Wouldn’t surprise me if he wrote this to part of the song to rub it in Michelle’s face that he wasn’t sitting around pining over her during the break but enjoying all that was offered him.
    smellykellyjayon March 28, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commenthow can there be no comments on this song!?! this is my favorite song by them, the vocals are beautiful, as ususal.
    savethetrees890on December 29, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJohn Phillips said he wrote this song about when he moved to New York city and the Clock outside his window was stuck on 12:30 so he wrote a song about it.
    mamorton August 14, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat music-- I agree, possibly their best. I'm not sure what this is about... it seems so happy and sad at the same time. My guess is about someone who traveled from the East to CA to be part of the Hippie/free love movement, realized that it wasn't going anywhere, but still was grateful for the experience.
    There is something so tragic in it, but I can't tell whether it's the words or music that bring it out more...
    lapofthegodson April 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow, nice post smellykelly...... I didn;t know all that. It has a dramatic air to it.... maybe fitting if it was a big thing for John to resist then fall to temptation of the groupies. Psychedelic - I love it!
    Sunnyhillon August 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere is something deeper to it. It has a "I am the Walrus" feel to it, It maybe 2 songs in one. I always thought the second line of chorus read "And in their mournings i can see them walkin'" which gave the song a deeper meaning like girls of the "free Love" movement were disillutioned and ready to jump off the canyon.
    2confusedon July 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA comparison between NYC and Laurel Canyon "the canyon"
    Swifty57on October 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOn the east side of the San Fransisco Bay there is a small community located between Oakland and Moraga called "Canyon", just a wide spot in the road. But during the late 60's and early 70's, it was a busy, buzzing hippee commune. "Young girls were coming to the Canyon"
    jimbo1955on July 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionThis is such a beautiful song and I can't believe I had not heard it until this year!
    It has a lot of the spirit that the 1960's had in it and it is really....groovy....to get that feeling again.
    John, Michelle and Cass all lived in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles as did many others, such as Jim Morrison, Micky Dolenz, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell and Frank Zappa. It was rustic, peaceful, quiet and to get to the buzz of the big city you just had to drive (or hitch) south on Laurel Canyon Blvd down to Sunset Blvd.
    You can read more about what I call the "Laurel Canyon Sound" in a book called "Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon" by Harvey Kubernik. I loved reading this book.
    Ghoster56on January 29, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd I thought it was something very deep & it's of a clock ?! Thanks & I still like it as the harmonies are great!
    NatureMuzicon September 10, 2008   Link

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