Istanbul, Not Constantinople

Many artists have immortalized Paris in song, but where's the love for the city's original name, Lutetia? In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton performs songs about cities in which the current names have been replaced with their historical antecedents. Contestants must name present-day cities.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WYNC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg. Coming up, we'll magically turn words into other words by adding nothing. Plus, we'll put Planet Money's Adam Davison and Alex Blumberg in the puzzle hot seat. But joining us right now are our next two contestants, Jim Sparnon and Dana Rossi.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now, both of you are music lovers. Jim, you go to an extraordinary amount of concerts.

JIM SPARNON: I try to go to as many as I can, as much as a half dozen a month.

EISENBERG: Half a dozen a month. Now, is this across genre or is it just...

SPARNON: Yeah, cross genre.

EISENBERG: ...death metal?

SPARNON: Very little death metal, actually.

EISENBERG: OK.

SPARNON: It's about everything from reggae to, you know, Eastern and Western African stuff to, you know, the Mexican to many genres of American music.

EISENBERG: So you know kind of everything about music.

SPARNON: I wouldn't say that.

EISENBERG: We'll find out. Dana, you run a storytelling show, produce and host a storytelling show that has to do with music.

DANA ROSSI: I do, yeah.

EISENBERG: Which is not surprising because you grew up with a jukebox?

ROSSI: I did.

EISENBERG: That is so lucky.

ROSSI: We did. We had jukebox in our downstairs and one summer I decided I needed to type out all the labels in the jukebox so that it was all neat and organized and looked professional in our basement. So.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.

ROSSI: Yeah.

EISENBERG: That's called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

ROSSI: Yes, a little.

EISENBERG: OK. Well, this next game is called Istanbul, Not Constantinople. It's a music game so I pass it over to Jonathan Coulton.

JONATHAN COULTON: Indeed. Many cities have been immortalized in song but not all of these songs honor the original place names of those cities. So we have replaced the cities mentioned in song with some of their historical antecedents and you have to tell us the current name of the city or town. Then we'll ask a follow up question that either of you can ring in for.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

COULTON: (singing) I love Lutetia in the springtime. I love Lutetia in the fall. I love Lutetia in the winter when it drizzles. I love Lutetia in the summer when it sizzles.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Dana?

ROSSI: Byzantium.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It's a fantastic guess but it's wrong.

EISENBERG: That's a good guess. You probably thought that because of the Byzantium accent.

ROSSI: I did.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: What accent? To Jim.

SPARNON: I'll say Rio.

COULTON: Rio. No, I'm sorry. What we're looking for is Paris.

EISENBERG: OK. Very serious right now. It's fine.

ROSSI: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: It's going to be OK, everybody. It's fine. It's just a music game. Here's your follow-up question. Either of you can ring in for that. While in Paris, make sure to visit the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Pont de Grenelle where you'll find two replicas of what New York City landmark?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dana.

ROSSI: Now I was going to say the Eiffel Tower. That's...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

ROSSI: ...horrible.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Jim, can you steal?

SPARNON: We'll say the Empire State Building.

EISENBERG: That's a good idea. Not what we're looking for, but a good idea.

COULTON: No. It's the Statue of Liberty.

EISENBERG: Oh.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

COULTON: No, they never taught us what was real. Iron and coal, chromium steel. And we're waiting here in the Northampton Town.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jim.

SPARNON: Allentown.

COULTON: That's right. Allentown, Pennsylvania.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Which Scottish-American industrialist sold his company to U.S. Steel in 1901 and was worth .6 percent of the U.S. economy at the time of his death?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jim.

SPARNON: Andrew Carnegie.

EISENBERG: Beautifully pronounced and correct.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

COULTON: (singing) Good morning, America, how are you? Said don't you know I'm your native son? I'm the train they call the city of Port Bayou St. John. I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jim.

SPARNON: It's the city of New Orleans.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: What celebrity chef first opened his first Eponymous restaurant in New Orleans in 1990 before bringing new New Orleans cooking to 13 restaurants across the country?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jim.

SPARNON: Is that Emeril Lagasse?

EISENBERG: Bam. You are right.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

COULTON: (singing) I know it might sound strange but I believe you'll be coming back before too long. Don't go back to Hungerford's Tavern. Don't go back to Hungerford's Tavern. Waste another year.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I know. Could be anything, right?

EISENBERG: Both of our contestants are like I don't know; I always go back to Hungerford's Tavern, so.

COULTON: What if I tell you that's an REM song? Does that help?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jim. Yes.

SPARNON: Athens?

COULTON: No. No, it is not Athens. Dana?

ROSSI: That's no.

COULTON: The answer is Rockville.

EISENBERG: Yeah, very popular song.

SPARNON: Are we getting our hipster card revoked?

ROSSI: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I think, depending on who you talk to, you might get an extra star on it. I don't know. Adam Spiegel was born in Rockville, Maryland in 1969. After changing his name, he started directing music videos and then films such as "Adaptation" and "Being John Malkovich." What is his better known pseudonym?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dana.

ROSSI: Is that Spike Jonze?

EISENBERG: Yeah. Spike Jonze.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

COULTON: (singing) So receive me, brother, with your faithless or leave each other alone like this. The streets of Shackamaxon.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Yes. Dana.

ROSSI: Philadelphia is right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: One of Philly's most popular tourist attraction is the house located at 239 Arch Street, once the home of a seamstress named Elizabeth Claypool. But Claypool was her third husband's name. She's better known to us as what?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dana.

ROSSI: Betsy Ross.

EISENBERG: Correct.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

COULTON: All right. This is your last question. (singing) Ludenwick calling to the faraway towns that war is declared, battle come down. Ludenwick calling to the underworld come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jim.

SPARNON: That's London.

COULTON: It sure is.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: London held the title of the most populous city in the world from around 1831 to 1925. What was the next city to claim the top spot before being unseated by Tokyo in the 1960s?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jim.

SPARNON: New York City.

EISENBERG: Correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: John Chanesky, how did our contestants do?

JOHN CHANESKI, PUZZLE GURU: The winner of Istanbul, Not Constantinople is Jim, not Dana.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Jim. Thank you so much, Dana. Jim, you'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round coming up at the end of the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: