Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

posted Oct 24, 2012, 12:38 AM by Professor Katz   [ updated Oct 16, 2013, 12:20 AM ]
Before Istanbul was Istanbul, it was Constantinople...and before that it was Byzantium...and even before that it was Byzantion, a 7th century BC Greek city-state.


Very confusing.  Four names for the same place.  Perhaps this song will clear things up:


Istanbul (Not Constantinople) was first recorded by The Four Lads, a Canadian group, in 1953.  (They were originally known as 'The Otnorots' ... that's Toronto backwards, get it?)


Anyway, you might know the later version, released by
They Might Be Giants in 1990.

Here are the lyrics:

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night

Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've a date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it I can't say
People just liked it better that way

So take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks

Istanbul (Istanbul)
Istanbul (Istanbul)

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it I can't say
People just liked it better that way

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks

So take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks

Istanbul
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