Reporting Shannon Carlin
The death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher yesterday (April 8) has helped drive sales of Judy Garland’s “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” from the Wizard Of Oz. The song’s recent rise is the result of a new Facebook campaign asking anti-Thatcher supporters to request the song in hopes that it will hit No. 1 on the U.K. charts.
The Official Charts Company, the industry standard charts provider for the U.K., reported that the song is currently at No. 54 on the Top 200 songs chart and will “likely move into the Official Singles Chart Top 40 in its own right by Sunday if it maintains its current momentum.”
But it’s not only Garland’s version that is placing in the charts; Ella Fitzgerald’s 1961 version is currently at No. 146 with the Munchkins’ cover at No. 183.
Elvis Costello’s “Tramp The Dirt Down,” an actual anti-Thatcher ode, is also making its way up the charts, landing at No. 80 on iTunes chart in the United Kingdom.
Some English musicians have expressed their condolences (like Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, who later deleted her tweet after fans questioned her support), while others have continued to express their distaste of the first and only female Prime Minister.
“Thatcher will only be fondly remembered by sentimentalists who did not suffer under her leadership,” he wrote. “But the majority of British working people have forgotten her already, and the people of Argentina will be celebrating her death.”
Singer Billy Bragg, who wrote ”Thatcherites” in 1996, took to his Facebook, writing a message with a bit more compassion than Moz’s diatribe.
“This is not a time for celebration,” he wrote. “The death of Margaret Thatcher is nothing more than a salient reminder of how Britain got into the mess that we are in today.”
He continues by asking his fellow Englishmen and women to take action to change the current state of their home country.
“Raising a glass to the death of an infirm old lady changes none of this,” he said. “The only real antidote to cynicism is activism. Don’t celebrate – organise!”