The twelfth of never hpst at EARTHLINK.NET
Thu Sep 21 21:55:10 UTC 2006

I don't know much about the song but the verses to this one which is
apparently to the tune of the riddle song remind me of it soWilson may be
half right though I will not comment on dating colleagues.

I do not know who the authors were except for the citation below and do not
know when Elvis recorded it or when they wrote it.

The Twelfth of Never
   ------Elvis Presley

(Words & music by Livingstone - Webster)
You ask how much I need you
Must I explain
I need you oh my darling
Like roses need rain

You ask how long I'll love you
I'll tell you true
Until the twelfth of never I'll still be loving you

Hold me close
Never let me go
Hold me close
Melt my heart like April snow

I'll love you 'till the blue bells forget to bloom
I'll love you 'till the clover has lost its perfume
I'll love you 'till the poets run out of rhyme

Oh, until the twelfth of never
And that's a long long time
Until the twelfth of never
And that's a long long time

>From looking at the lyrics there appears to be a bridge in it,

 "Hold me close
Never let me go
Hold me close
Melt my heart like April snow,"

which did not exist in the riddle song which goes in one of its versions:

I gave my love a cherry
That had no stone
I gave my love a chicken
That had no bone
I told my love a story
That had no end
I gave my love a baby
With no crying.

How can there be a cherry
That has no stone?
And how can there be a chicken
That has no bone?
And how can there be a story
That has no end?
And how can there be a baby
With no crying?

A cherry when it's blooming
It has no stone
A chicken when in the shell
It has no bone
The story of how I love you
It has no end
A baby when it's sleeping
It's not crying.

I remember the Johnny Mathis version but it has been so many years since I
heard it I do not remember whether it included the bridge or not.

Good luck on dating it,

Page Stephens

> [Original Message]
> From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Date: 9/21/2006 3:44:51 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] The twelfth of never
> The tune perhaps did. There's a folksong with the line, among others,
> "I gave my love a chicken without any bone," a line that I remember
> because of the double-entendre. However, I can't remember whether the
> folksong contains the phrase, "twelfth of never."
> OTOH, I could have it bass-ackwards, since I heard the pop song a
> couple of years or more before I heard the folksong. I.e., the
> supposed folksong could very well be based on the pop song and not the
> other way around, for all that I know.
> BTW, I appreciate your use of "dating colleagues" instead of the more
> accurate, in my case, at least, "_dated_ colleagues." ;-)
> -Wilson
> On 9/21/06, Joanne M. Despres <jdespres at> wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       "Joanne M. Despres" <jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM>
> > Subject:      The twelfth of never
> >
> >
> > To my dating colleagues:  would any of you happen to know
> > whether the phrase "the twelfth of never" (a poeticism for "never")
> > preceded the song recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1957?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Joanne
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society -
> >
> --
> Everybody says, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange
> complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -----
> Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is knows how deep
> a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our
> race. He brought death into the world.
> --Sam Clemens
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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