inessential by Brent Simmons

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam

I’m reading a book about the history of Western civilization. It’s an old textbook left over from my college days that didn’t get much use.

(I love reading history, so yes, this is just something I’m doing for fun.)

Anyway, I’ve hit a snag. I’m reading about the early Byzantine Empire now. And I can’t focus because I keep hearing in my head at max volume the classic They Might Be Giants song:

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul not Constantinople
Been a long time gone Constantinople
Now a Turkish delight on a moonlit night


By the way: before it was Constantinople it was Byzantium. But that would have just complicated the song. Constantine originally called it New Rome, but that didn’t stick: they called it City of Constantine, Constantinople.