Thursday 20 April 2023

New Lyrics for an Old Novelty Song: THUNDER BAY (not CONSTANTINOPLE)


ORIGINAL SONG: "Istanbul (not Constantinople)" a jazz-band style concoction recorded by The Four Lads in 1953. 

PARODY COMPOSED: Dr.G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, May 2023. 

SONGLINK: On our song-blog you can find the lyrics and chords for ukulele or guitar for our parody of the original song. Click HERE.


In 1930, "Istanbul" was designated as the official name of the largest city in Türkiye (Turkey), known in earlier periods as Byzantium, Byzantion, Constantinople, and primarily as Istanbul since the fall of the Byzantine empire in 1453.
In 1949, Newfoundland joined Confederation as Canada's tenth and newest province; in 2001, the Canadian Constitution was amended to revise the province's name to "Newfoundland and Labrador" (the mainland area of Labrador includes less than 5% of the province's population, but the majority of its landmass). The island of Newfoundland (NEW-found-land) is known by its inhabitants as "the Rock". 
In 1953 (the 500th anniversary of the "fall of Constantinople"), the Four Lads, a Canadian singing quartet who had moved from Toronto to the United States, acquired their first gold record with the release of the jazz-band styled "Istanbul (not Constantinople)". Other hits by this group include "Standing on the Corner" and "Moments to Remember". 

In 1970, the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario (current population about 110,000), at the western end of Lake Superior was formed by the merger of the two smaller communities of Fort William and Port Arthur.  


(Intro: mid-Eastern theme, on kazoo)

"The Lakehead" was Fort William and Port Arthur
Now it's Thunder Bay, not Willi-am and Arthur
It's a wondrous town with name that's far superior --
Like Turkish delight, on a stormy night.

Every dame today, 'round Lakehead way,
Stays in Thunder Bay, not with William or Arthur
A rainy date in Fort William or Port Arthur?
She'll be waiting in Thunder Bay.

Even old Newfoundland hooked up with Labrador.
Ask a Newfie, he might say,
"They thought, on the Rock, we'd like that more, eh?"

So, take me back: Fort William and Port Arthur
No, you can't go back in time, it's so much farther;
Been a long while past, since Willi-am and Arthur.
Why the name-change? Here's the crux:
It's no one's business but Canucks.

Thunder Bay. 

(kazoo, in Turkish-style melody)

Thunder Bay.


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