‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ Rockets Up The UK Music Chart In The Wake Of Margaret Thatcher’s Death


Yesterday we learned the news that Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first and thus far only female Prime Minister, passed away at the age of 87 … and while the news was sad for some, it was quite the opposite for many others. There are a lot of people who dislike Thatcher so much that news of her death became cause for great celebration in the United Kingdom. As a result, a campaign got underway immediately to get the song Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead from The Wizard of Oz into the #1 position on the British music charts. 48 hours after Thatcher’s death, the song has already made it up into the #10 position. Wow.

Lady Thatcher’s death could propel The Wizard Of Oz track “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead to the top of the charts. Those who saw her death as a cause for celebration have prompted a download surge for the track. Within 48 hours of the former Prime Minister’s death, the song has entered the official UK chart at number 10. It is expected to climb higher as a result of a Facebook campaign being set up to encourage sales. The Facebook group, encouraging people to download the “Witch” song to get it to number one, already had 664 members and was originally set up back in July 2007. The BBC said it would decide whether to play Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead during Radio 1’s top 40 countdown when places are finalised this weekend. In a statement it said: “The Official Chart Show on Sunday is a historical and factual account of what the British public has been buying and we will make a decision about playing it when the final chart positions are clear.” The song was written by EY Harburg and composed by Harold Arlen and featured in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. A song specifically written to attack Lady Thatcher, “Tramp The Dirt Down” by Elvis Costello, also rose to 79 on the iTunes chart. Respect MP George Galloway tweeted the title of the 1988 song, which includes the lyrics: “When they finally put you in the ground, they’ll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down.” … However there appears to be a limit to the public appetite for all things Thatcher-related. A peak-time BBC1 90-minute obituary, narrated by Andrew Marr and broadcast on Monday night, attracted fewer than 3 million viewers. News bulletins providing blanket coverage of the death failed to record a viewing rise. Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died at the Ritz hotel in London on Monday following a stroke. She was 87.

Dang. The woman was so disliked that hundreds of people have been planning the celebration of her death since 2007! I mean … wow. There are many politicians that I pretty much loathe but I can’t ever imagine wanting to celebrate anyone’s death in this manner. That said, this is a British thing and it is up to the British people to celebrate or not, I suppose. It sounds like this song is going to reach the peak #1 position … and I am very curious to see if the BBC will play the song … or not.


  • Krissy

    Wow…That is crazy!

  • Dead witch

    Crazy, crazy was the sympathy Thatcher had for the starving familes of striking miners back in the 1980s.

    The bitch is dead, long live the ritch & greedy.

  • Megan

    I guess I don’t fully understand the impact Thatcher had in Britain…but this seems extreme. She was a human being.

  • Vicky

    I really don’t get it… I thought she did a lot of good? I obviously did not pay attention in High School Social Studies lol.

    • VV

      Whether you think she did good or not largely depends on your political leanings.

      If you are on the right, Maggie is the one person who saved Britain from oblivion. She crushed the unions, slashed taxes (mainly for the rich, but “normal” rates went to a degree as well) and sold off inefficient state-run industries like telecommunications, natural gas, water and electricity. She unleashed a wave of entrepreneurial spirit throughout the country, transforming the economy and bringing it out of the dark ages. By selling off council-owned houses, she allowed a huge number of people to become homeowners. She stopped propping up inefficient industries (like coal) and let market forces decide which companies lived and died. She threw out loads of unnecessary red tape that strangled businesses, enabling the City of London to become a front-runner in the worldwide financial sector. She was a strong, charismatic, smart leader, who re-established Britain’s place on the world stage and helped bring down the Soviet Union whilst reinforcing the Special Relationship with the United States.

      If you are on the left, your opinions are markedly different. Under Thatcher, inequality ballooned out of control. The rich got (much) richer, and the poor got (much) poorer. The bulk of tax changes benefitted the rich. Deregulation of the City and business, together with emasculating the trades unions changed the balance of power greatly in favour of those who have plenty. Normal people were left by the wayside. Privatisation – ostensibly to allow market forces into sectors where they previously were not allowed – have not delivered the promised improvements. Electricity, water and natural gas prices are excessively high. A large number of the utility companies are owned by overseas companies and are no longer run in the public interest. Privatisation of railways – which happened under Thatcher’s successor but was nevertheless wouldn’t have happened but for her – has been an unmitigated disaster. Revenues from North Sea oil and the like were squandered on unemployment benefit for the vast number of people put out of work when Thatcher fundamentally rebalanced the economy. Even now, there are places – mining villages – where this still rankles. It was too much, too quickly and it was too painful. Thatcher didn’t help by saying “There is no such thing as society”. Now people wonder why people are so selfish, so materialistic and why the sense of community that we once had no longer exists.

      Margaret Thatcher was divisive and polarising in life. It is onlt right that she should continue to be so in death. I am no fan of hers (I am firmly of the left), but some of what has happened is more than a little tasteless. Despite everything, she was still a mother and a grandmother, and reading newspapers about her decline was rather sad.

      if you want a parallel with the US, think Ronald Reagan.

    • Emily

      @vv – very well said. You summed up her controversy well. I love PITNBRs for being so thoughtful in expressing both sides, even if you have your own opinion. I’m with you – not so much a fan, but geez people, this is a fellow human! It seems so wrong to celebrate her death this way.

    • @Emily — I agree, I have a hard time imagining taking pleasure in someone’s death … but, then again, I didn’t personally live thru and suffer at the hand of Thatcher’s politics. Who knows how I might feel if I had.

  • Sophie Miller

    Thatcher opposed the ANC, supported apartheid, lauded Pinochet and protected him from extradition for crimes against humanity, armed and financed the Khmer Rouge. Legislated to prevent positive portray of homosexuality.

    And that was her nice side

  • Kathryn

    Hey Trent, I know you don’t really like Russell Brand but he has written a great piece about Thatcher. It helps to understand why the Brits are reacting the way they are. X

  • Kathryn

    This article by Russell Brand helps to explain why people are reacting the way they are.

  • Isabelle

    I was a little kid during her time in office but I remember vividly that she was a monster to her country.
    Never liked her. Never respected her. Always thought she was a freezing cold-hearted witch. And I’m not even from the UK.

  • K1rk

    Don’t tell me you haven’t been planning your Dick Cheney “Memorial”

    • @K1rk — Ahem ….

  • Luna

    Sounds like she was the male version of … OMG I forgot the name of the guy who ran against President Obama.