Istanbul

Album: World Peace Is None of Your Business (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • This tale of a father searching for his lost son among the street gangs of the Turkish capital was released as the second single off Morrissey's World Peace Is None of Your Business album.
  • The song opens with what sounds like a Muslim call to prayer before featuring instrumentation evocative of the song's storyline. World Peace Is None of Your Business producer Joe Chiccarelli told Ozy.com: "Morrissey wanted to evoke the feeling of the hectic and chaotic streets of the city of Istanbul, so he used a cigar-box guitar, a lap steel guitar and a complicated and busy drum rhythm, plus an actual gong as percussion, as well as vocal samples from a field recording taken in the streets of Istanbul by guitarist Jesse Tobias."
  • Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. Straddling the Bosphorus - one of the world's busiest waterways - in northwestern Turkey, its commercial and historical centre lies in Europe, while a third of its population lives in Asia.

    Founded around 660 BC as Byzantium, for nearly sixteen centuries following its re-establishment as Constantinople in 330 AD, the city served as the capital of four empires: the Roman Empire (330–395), the Byzantine Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453-1922). Its name was changed to Istanbul in 1930.

    The best known song about the Turkish city is Istanbul (Not Constantinople), which was originally a hit for The Four Lads in 1953 and later revived by They Might Be Giants. Other tunes inspired by Istanbul include:

    "Istanbul" by The Breeders.

    "She Took My Soul In Istanbul" by Marc Almond.

    "City Of Black & White" by Mat Kearney.

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