Istanbul

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

Songfacts®:

  • This tale of a father searching for his lost son among the street gangs of the Turkish city 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.

Comments: 1

  • Raci from UsaIstanbul is Turkey's largest city not the capital. The capital of Turkey is Ankara.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.

Which Songs are About Drugs?

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.

Alice Cooper

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.