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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thatcher's Ding Dong Time

Ding Dong in Trafalgar Square!
Actor Russell Brand commented, upon the death of Maggie Thatcher: "I do recall that even to a child her demeanour and every discernible action seemed to be to the detriment of our national spirit and identity. Her refusal to stand against apartheid, her civil war against the unions, her aggression towards our neighbours in Ireland and a taxation system that was devised in the dark ages, the bombing of a retreating ship -- it's just not British."

"Conservative hostility towards the BBC was a constant theme in the Thatcher era. With her death there has been a fresh spike," read an editorial in The Guardian

The BBC itself explains that BBC Radio "is planning to play Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, the Wizard of Oz track being bought by anti-Thatcher protesters in the wake of the former prime minister's death, on its chart show on Sunday.

"However, in what is thought to be a first for the BBC chart show, the corporation is considering having a Newsbeat reporter explain why a song from the 30s is charting to Radio 1's target audience of 16- to 24-year-olds – none of whom will remember Margaret Thatcher's controversial premiership.

"The Official Charts Company said on Thursday morning that Ding Dong the Witch is Dead was on course to reach number four, up from 10 the previous day."

The rise of "Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead" on the UK chart began as a Facebook campaign. "Make Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead number one the week Thatcher dies," was launched on Monday. It asked people to download the song originally sung in the 1939 MGM movie, The Wizard of Oz.

Glenda Jackson, a star in her own right who left an Oscar-winning, major movie-star career to become the Labor MP in England's House of Commons, attacked the late Ms Thatcher as causing “heinous social, economic and spiritual damage” and further commented “The first Prime Minister of female gender, OK. But a woman? Not on my terms.” So much for only speaking good of the dead. (As another Oscar-winning actress, Bette Davis, once reputedly said of Joan Crawford: "My mother told me to only say good things of the dead. Joan Crawford's dead. Good." Ding dong!) By the way, I wonder if Meryl Streep -- who portrayed Prime Minister Thatcher in her Oscar-winning Iron Lady performance -- will ultimately be reached for comment.

The song has not charted on US radio, incidentally.

Below, a fabulous club remix by Jack2Monet, in case you care to join our friends in the UK in their celebration!

1 comment:

  1. If there is any good to come out of the anti-Thatcher wave of nostalgia currently troubling the orthodox right-wing press in the UK, it will be that the generation of young people who have no idea that there is an alternative ideology to her invasive, pernicious brand of free-market capitalism might get to wondering what all the fuss was about. Investigating the roots of the Ding-Dong fuss may even lead some people to examine how whole subcultures used to enjoy a life that was lived in an Alternative manner that rejected the all-conquering consumerist air-conditioned nightmare that the West has become post-1989.