So it looks like the anti Thatcher sentiment is getting behind Ding Dong the Witches Dead, which is heading for number one.
A Facebook based campaign has encouraged people to buy the song from the 1939 film version of The Wizard Of Oz to commemorate or mark Margaret Thatcher’s death and it is now number one in the Amazon chart- in fact there are now two versions of the song in the top 10 at the moment.
1. This must be the first time that an anti song is heading up the charts after someone famous has died- usually the charts are clogged up with songs by the artists or songs reflecting the death in a positive way- I can’t think of a time when a song was bought celebrating someone’s death and was headed for the number one spot ever.
2. Initially it seems odd that no-one is rushing out to buy Ghost Town by the Specials or another of the great anti Thatcher songs from the period.
During her lifetime Margaret Thatcher inspired a wide range of songs from prominent musicians protesting her policies. The Specials’ “Ghost Town” and The Jam’s “Town Called Malice” both were #1 pop hit singles in opposition to Thatcher’s view of the UK. Some artists were even more direct such as Elvis Costello’s “Tramp the Dirt Down,” UB40’s “Madame Medusa,” and the English Beat’s “Stand Down Margaret.”
Instead of buying one of the classics people a rallying behind a joke song which is very much a modern phenomenon- being driven by a one line twitter joke that went round after her death that then became a facebook campaign. The track going to number is a triumph of social networking and an interesting reflection on how out of control the modern media is- ten years ago the media would and could not have allowed this to happen.
3. Bizarrely the track looks like it could be number one during the week of the big Thatcher funeral- it will be interesting to see how much radio play it’s going to get- will it get played in the chart countdown? will it be the first number one to not get played on the radio since the Sex Pistols God Save The Queen? It will also be interesting to see how the Daily Mail reacts- the right wing newspaper seems to have convinced itself of Thatcher’s mass appeal and popularity (oddly TV figures of special programmes on her are getting low figures) and is shocked by any dissent. If you think this song is trivial as it heads for number one then check the Daily Mail’s frothing coverage of her death with anti BBC articles raging against ‘too many mentions of the poll tax riots and the miners strike’ to even George Alagiah getting a whole headline piece for, apparently looking like a ‘spiv’ in a grey suit, in one report.
4. Critics are saying that the track heading towards number one is obscene but is it any more obscene than the public being asked to spend ten million pounds on the security of a funeral for a leader that over 50 per cent of them hated?
Why not just give her a family burial so the people who loved her can grieve in private? Why are large sections of the public whose lives were ruined by her being asked to pay for the security at the funeral in the middle of a deep recession for someone who ruined their lives?
5. It’s ironic that for someone whose favourite song was How Much Is That Doggy In The Window but oddly inspired some of the great songs of all time like the aforementioned Ghost Town that it seems quite fitting that her death will be marked by a novelty song.
6. Ironically Wizard Of oz film producer, Victor Fleming, is described as “violently pro-Nazi”, and strongly opposed the United States entering World War II. He was opposed to anything British, and very much hoped the Nazis would invade the United Kingdom following the Fall of France according to Wiki