Should the BBC play Ding Dong The Witch Is dead when it gets to number one

The argument is raging… should the BBC play Ding Dong The Witch Is dead when it gets to number one?

The single is a couple of thousand downloads short of number one now. Details of the single are available from its facebook page.

It’s hardly Ghost Town by the Specials – which would have been the best number one possible- reflecting the reality of Thatcher’s eighties the UK in song and video.

But it’s the song that many people are rallying around and it’s on it’s way to number one which means the BBC will have to play it.

This is causing the Daily Mail and establishment music writers like Neil McCormick at the Daily Telegraph to tell the BBC that it should not be playing the single in the week of Thatcher’s burial.  In Thursday’s Daily Mail, the paper branded Romany Blythe, the woman who set up the Facebook page “The Witch is Dead” as a “teacher of hatred”, quoting critics who condemned plans for Thatcher “death parties” as “revolting” and “offensive”.

The BBC have said that when the single gets played they will have a reporter explaining who Thatcher was to the young people who still care about charts.

For many people Thatcher was a decisive figure and this has not really been reflected in the mainstream media with the Daily Mail writing about a person that most people in the country don’t recognise.

What do you think? should the song get played in the chart run down? should it be a better song that’s number one?

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16 comments on “Should the BBC play Ding Dong The Witch Is dead when it gets to number one”

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  1. Jason gravestock

    I would have preferred Tramp the dirt down at number one but as a gentle stab at bursting the deferential bubble around a women praised by so many and hated by a similar amount the ding dong will have to do.

  2. As mentioned in the article, people could have downloaded Ghost Town, which represents that era of British History far better. This song is a laugh and a joke between those who were affected by Thatcherite Britain. A Novelty song to soundtrack their joy at the end of an era (which it isn’t really but that’s another story)

    As such, even if it sells 10 times it’s closest rival, I don’t think it should be included in the charts as a serious submission. What would stop someone rallying for The Wheels on The Bus to get to number one? Would the charts acknowledge that, would Radio 1 have to play it ??

    Although I don’t consider the standard of songs in the charts at the moment as very high at least the songs are by working musicians and the whole chart isn’t a complete joke yet.

  3. Of course they should play it. That’s democracy and as a democrat of sorts, Mrs T would have to bow to the people’s verdict on her legacy. It’s not even that disrespectful compared to some of the songs that could have been hyped up the charts – the Exploited’s Maggie You **** for instance. It’s more playfully subversive, which is what pop is all about. I’m surprised that Mike Read or some other old Tory hasn’t tried to start a counter campaign with Honeybus’s I Can’t Let Maggie Go or somesuch. A song that apparently Jonathan King once sang at a Tory Conference, so it’s apt in many ways.

  4. Stephen Newton

    Thatcher’s favourite song was Two Little Boys by Rolf Harris, the meaning of which she explained at great length on Desert Island Discs. The right could have rallied around that.

  5. Of course they should play it. The charts work on thatchers beloved market forces ie as long as it sells the reason doesn’t matter, which you would’ve thought the daily mail would be all in favour of.

  6. Should have been Left Us To Burn by Martin Stephenson & The Daintees.

    All the same setiments but with a touch of class …

    http://daintees.bandcamp.com/track/left-us-to-burn

  7. Grrrrrrrr *sentiments

  8. Ding dong, pedant alert!. It is some 12,000 copies behind number one, not a couple of thousand. It’s gaining at the *rate* of a couple of thousand a day, but it looks like it’s not enough to make it to the top spot. You never know. I need to get out more.

  9. It probably would have been better to focus on something like the aforementioned ‘Ghost Town’, Costello’s ‘Tramp the Dirt Down’, Wyatt’s ‘Shipbuilding’, Morrissey’s ‘Margaret on the Guillotine’, or ‘Baby Milk Snatcher’ by AR Kane. I don’t like associating this dire person who has departed with something as wonderful as The Wizard of Oz….

    But the Daily Mail and the right-wing need to let us know if we live in a democracy and have free speech. Will this song be overlooked like ‘God Save the Queen’ was? That would mean no progress and a definite establishment dominating British society.

    The BBC have to play this, after all, they played the turgid hymn to the artist formerly known as Lady Di endlessly in 1997….

  10. I think it’s a fallacy to think the BBC or the charts have anything to do with democracy. The Beeb is a broadcaster and it’s acceptable, I think, for a producer to make a decision not to broadcast something if it’s considered not suitable for their audience. And their audience will contain Maggie fans as well as her detractors.

    Personally, I’d slow down Ding Dong until it’s a satanic dirge, mix it in with some Front 242 and drop in snippets of Rod Stewart’s Maggie and Iron Maiden’s Bring Your Daughter (To The Slaughter) then finish with the national anthem played backwards. But I am only one audience member and a telly producer has to think about everyone.

  11. Personally i would have gone for Ghost Town. Pete Wylie – The day that Margaret Thatcher Died & Billy Bragg – Thatcherites could have worked too.. Not that any of it really matters, Thatcherism is far from dead.

  12. David J. Harris

    Ghost Town would have been perfect. If everyone knows Ding Dong is number 1 then there’s no harm in playing it. D.J plays it says it’s number one and says it maybe in poor taste. More fuss is made by saying they won’t play it. People can listen to track anyhow, via Youtube, iTunes etc. Banning something causes more intrigue and creates more sales. Have the BBC not learned anything at all after banning the Sex Pistols God Save The Queen & Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax. Are people really going to get off on hearing being played in the chart run down? Who listens to the charts these days anyway? A few kids who probably didn’t know who Margaret Thatcher was and that’s about it

  13. Waste of Money

    I understand the sentiment. Some people hatched Margaret Thatcher and are pleased that she is dead, albeit we’ve had 13 years of piss poor labour governance since she was kicked out of her position, but nonetheless these individuals are pleased that she has died. Then I think about the twattish intellect of the individuals that have purchased this record…. It’s hardly a protest is it really, a childrens song from the Wizard of Oz…. If these are the same people that Thatcher’s government apparently ruined in the 80’s, they clearly have more money then sense now….

  14. Seriously, why should anyone who reads this fantastic blog really give a shit what’s top of the charts or have radio one even played on their radio. This whole episode is cringe worthy if you ask me, lots of bullies on social sites telling kids what to spend their pocket money on.

  15. Of course it should be played. It does not matter if you loved or loathed Thatcher, what is important here is freedom of speech, if so many people have put the song at number one then it should be played. People can make assumptions on who has purchased the song all they want does not make it fact. For a lot of people it’s a peaceful way of making their feelings heard and is a far better alternative to aggressive protests. If the song offends people can turn off the radio. Simple!

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