Huffpost Entertainment

Margaret Thatcher 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' Campaign Fails To Score 'Oz' Song A Number One

Posted: Updated:
MARGARET THATCHER
PA

'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' has failed to reach number one, after an online campaign by opponents of late former prime minister Margaret Thatcher propelled it into the charts.

The recording, taken from 1939 film 'The Wizard of Oz', entered the charts at number two.

It was more than 5,000 sales short of this week's chart-topper 'Need U (100%)' by Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E.

The Official Charts Company described 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' as "one of the most controversial chart contenders of all time".

Quick Poll

Are you disappointed 'Ding Dong' isn't number one?

VOTE

The 51-second song entered the charts at number 54 on Tuesday, the day after Baroness Thatcher's death, and climbed to number 10 on Wednesday. By Thursday, it had reached number four and was at number three by Friday.

There was a final rush of 18,000 sales between Friday morning and today, the Official Charts Company said, but its final total was 52,605 copies - 5,700 behind Duke Dumont, which achieved 58,321 sales in the past week.

Who Have Been The Other Casualties, A Week On From Thatcher's Death?

On Monday, following the news that the Iron lady had passed away from a stroke, critics of the Baroness urged users on sites such as Facebook and Twitter to download the song, leading it to quickly top the iTunes download charts:

facebook

In the 'Wizard Of Oz', the song is sung by Judy Garland's Dorothy, the Munchkins and Glinda the Good Witch (played by Billie Burke) as they celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the East.

Coincidentally, the man who wrote the song - Oscar Award-winning Yip Harburg - was born on 8 April, the same day that Thatcher died.

Some Tory MPs demanded the BBC ban the song - but others warned that politicians should not interfere in the choice of records played by broadcasters.

New BBC Director General Tony Hall has explained the broadcaster's decision to only play a five-second clip of the song as part of a news item during the Radio 1 chart show, saying: "I personally believe it is distasteful and inappropriate.

"However I do believe it would be wrong to ban the song outright as free speech is an important principle and a ban would only give it more publicity."

Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper agreed it was a "logical decision".

However, earlier this week, Paul Gambaccini, who presented the US chart on BBC Radio 1 for 18 years, told The Huffington Post UK: "There is no reason not to play it.

"The whole basis of the Sunday chart show is that it is the pop music equivalent of the news. You don't have to introduce every song with enthusiasm, you just play them."

He called the decision to play a clip of the song as part of a news item "precedent-setting," adding: "I am sure every 13-year-old in the country is aware that there's an internet campaign - they are on Facebook every day."

LISTEN: Three Songs The BBC HAVE Banned Before

Despite failing to reach the top spot, 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' has broken a new record by becoming the shortest top 10 single of all time and is the only one in history to be under a minute long.

Punk song 'I'm In Love' With Margaret Thatcher by the Notsensibles, which was featured in recent film 'The Iron Lady', also entered the top 40 today.

The 1979 single reached number 35 after a push from fans of Lady Thatcher in response to 'Ding Dong The Witch is Dead' and sold 8,768 copies.

During her time in Downing Street, some of Lady Thatcher's sternest critics were to be found not in Parliament but on the radio.

She inspired outrage and often outright hatred in a generation of musicians. Click here for our Top 10 of the best anti-Thatcher songs. Unsurprisingly, they're all from the 1980s.

Close
Margaret Thatcher Life In Pictures
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide
SEE ALSO:

hobbit comp

Around the Web

BBC Won't Ban 'Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead,' Adopted as Anti ...

0:31 Ding Dong The Witch is Dead - YouTube

4:15 Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead - YouTube

Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Do you want Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead to top the charts? | Poll ...