I was able to find the lyrics of "The friends of Mr. Cairo":


From Chicago to Hong Kong

Via Istanbul the Talking Tong


I would very much appreciate if someone could tell me what's meant by "Talking Tong".

Thanks in advance.

  • The song lyrics are full of references to 30s gangster films. The backstory of the characters in the Maltese Falcon (referenced in the lyrics) is that they have been in search of the Falcon (a valuable statuette) round the world. when the statuette is found to be a fake, the quest goes on to Istanbul. But I am not sure of the connection to Tong, unless this is a reference to something else from another gangster story – Angst Dec 11 '18 at 23:01

A Tong is a type of organization, described as secret societies (like a Lodge) or sworn brotherhoods and are often tied to criminal activity.

Within the lyrics the tong is one of a number of criminal elements referenced. The "talking tong" is a meaningless phrase to achieve alliteration and rhythm in the song:

From chicago to hong kong
via istanbul the talking tong

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.