Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: FloodReleased: 1990Charted:
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) was covered by They Might Be Giants, but over 30 years before that, it peaked at #10 on the Billboard chart in 1953, sung by The Four Lads. The words were written by Jimmy Kennedy and the music by Nat Simon.
Named after Constantine The Great, Constantinople was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire for 11 centuries. It was conquered by the Ottoman Empire (The Turks) in the 15th century. It's name was changed to Istanbul in 1930.
They Might Be Giants guitarist John Flansburgh told Rolling Stone: "This song I knew from my childhood, and we learned it simply to have more songs in our repertoire. It was in the show for a couple of years, and John and I would perform without the drum machine. It had a very spaced out middle section where we would basically yodel into an echo effect and it all went very, very trippy. It always got a good response, and when we got our fancy Casio FZ-1 samplers, this track was one of the things we put together to test it out."