Istanbul was Constantinople and even old New York was. .

. . . once New Amsterdam.
Why they changed it? I don’t know.

I am aware of a previous tread regarding this song:

But recently, on the radio I heard a classic recording of a comedy show, and darned if the comedians were not doing virtually a word by word of the “They might be giants” song! Sadly I missed both the beginning and the end of the show so I could not identify the players. Does anybody know who were those comedians? FWIW I think the recording and commercials sounded circa 1950.

And oh yeah: Why they changed New Amsterdam to New York?

When the English took it away from the Dutch in 1664 they renamed it to suit their own taste.

“Istanbul [Not Constinople]” wasn’t written by TMBG. A group called the Four Lads took it to #10 in 1953.

Istanbul also was called Bazance and, I’m not making this up, New Rome once, after it became the capital of the eastern part of the Empire (split for administratory reasons).

Byzance. Hell.

Why’d they change it? I can’t say.
People just liked it better that way.

I remember Sha Na Na doing a version of this song on their old TV show in the 70s.

And Schnitte, shouldn’t that be Byzantium?

I just noticed your location. You probably call Charlemagne “Karl der Grosse” or some such silly thing.

Paris used to be Lutetia.
Cairo started out as Fustat.
The West Side of Cleveland started out as Ohio City.
Medina used to be Yathrib (I mean the Medina in Arabia, not the one in Ohio).
Lots of these in Africa — Léopoldville/Kinshasa, Salisbury/Harare, Bathurst/Banjul, etc.
And Asia — Khaghanbalghasu/Peip‘ing/Beijing, Edo/Tôkyô, Madras/Cennai, etc.

Austin used to be Waterloo, not that anyone cares.

Man, I never thought of Bruce Willis as Homer. I can actually see it.

Marge would have to be played by Julie Kavner. Nobody else can do that voice.

Until his testicles dropped, Frankie Muniz would have been a perfect Bart Simpson.

Dammit, wrong thread. Sorry :slight_smile:

Then it’d be Byzantion, since it was a Greek town.
(I didn’t know the English term, so I googled a few versions, and I got quite a number of hits for Byzance, so I assumed this was it. In German, it’s “Byzanz”.)

And yes, we refer to Charlemagne as “Karl der Große”.

The English didn’t “take away” New Amsterdam from the Dutch; it was traded to the English, who in return gave the tulip-eaters Suriname. For centuries, the Dutch considered this a good trade, since the U.S. colonies rebelled, whereas Suriname didn’t gain full independence until the mid-1970s.
Lagniappe: St. Paul, Minnesota, started out as Pig’s Eye.

I think it’s The Four Tops, though I know some folks say it’s Neil Diamond. In any event, that’s the original version of Istanbul, which TMBG did a cover of.

Quoth Jomo Mojo:

Still is, actually. Or at least, the parts of it that ever were Ohio City in the first place. It’s a neighborhood now, rather than an independent city, but every Clevelander will know exactly what you mean when you say “Ohio City”.

Uh, thanks fot the New York info, but you guys are not quite getting it, I know already about the four tops but what I am talking about is a comedy routine circa 1950 that was NOT a song. AFAICR the sketch was about two guys running into a know-it-all ticket seller (in a train station?) and it definitely had the “nobody’s business but the Turks” line. My theory is that the singers were inspired by that comedy bit to create the original song.

That’s the best I could find as it relates to comedy performances.

BTW- did the Four Tops really do a version of Istanbul? I can’t find anything about that at all.

It was the Four Lads, not the Four Tops.

I always thought that the Animaniacs were the ones who did this song. . .:smiley:

And Ottawa, Canada used to be Bytown. I think.

Actually, Ohio City still exists, about 10 miles south of me here in western Ohio. Been there for more than 100 years.

Cairo has had a lot of names. Accordinfg to Sir Richard Burton, one of these was Bab-al-Yun, which caused a lot of confusion for Westerners, especially during the Crusades, since they confused it with “Babylon”, that seat of Evil.