Saturday, April 13, 2013

"Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead" But According To Protesters In Dublin She Is Still Alive

In 2013, following the death of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher on 8 April, anti-Thatcher sentiment prompted campaigns on social media networks to bring Ella Fitzgerald's version of the song to number 1 in the UK Singles Chart. By 9 April the campaign instead targeted Garland's version of the song after The Official Chart Company confirmed its eligibility.It had reached number 2 in the iTunes UK download chart 24 hours after her death,and had reached number 1 in the same chart by the end of the day. By Wednesday 10 April, "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead" had reached number 10 in the midweek Official UK Singles Chart, and was "on course to be one of the top three sellers by the end of the week".

On Friday 12 April the BBC announced that it would not play the track in full during The Official Chart on Sunday 14 April, but would carry a news item explaining why the song was in the charts during which a short clip would be played. This has displeased anti-censorship campaigners. Padraig Reidy of Index on Censorship said: "The chart show is a show of record. They should have played the song without comment [...] It's only 51 seconds long and everyone would have forgotten about it this time next week."

"Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead" is the centrepiece of several individual songs in an extended set-piece performed by the Munchkin characters, Glinda (Billie Burke) and Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. It was composed by Harold Arlen, with the lyrics written by E.Y. Harburg.

The group of songs celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the East after Dorothy "dropped a house on her", though actually this was caused by the tornado.