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Anti-Thatcher song 'Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead' rises on U.K. charts

April 12, 2013|By Reed Johnson
  • Workers paint over a piece of graffiti that referring to late British former prime minister.
Workers paint over a piece of graffiti that referring to late British former… ( Ben Stansallben/ Getty…)

The bitter partisanship that surrounded Margaret Thatcher when she served as British prime minister is extending into her political afterlife.

A campaign by leftists to push the song "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" from "The Wizard of Oz" up the charts as a rebuke to Thatcher and her Conservative legacy has split opinion between those who call the gesture "distasteful" and "inappropriate," and others who still chafe at mention of the "Iron Lady's" name.

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Already the campaign has helped push the single to No. 3 on the pop charts and the top perch on iTunes, according to London's Daily Mail. Meanwhile, BBC Radio 1 has said that a "four- or five-" second" clip of the song will be played on the station's weekly official chart show.

The broadcaster's controller, Benn Cooper, called it "a difficult compromise" and added that he personally thought the campaign was "tasteless."

During her 11-year tenure, Thatcher was the politician whom British musicians (and a few non-Brits) of many stripes loved to hate. The vitriolic song titles alone left listeners in no doubt about the depth of loathing: The English Beat's "Stand Down Margaret"; Heaven 17's "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang"; The Specials' "Ghost Town"; Morrissey's "Margaret on the Guillotine"; and  Elvis Costello's "Tramp the Dirt Down" are only a few titles. 

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Follow me on Twitter: @RJohnsonLAT

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