A campaign to get the song Ding Dong the Witch is Dead into the Official UK Top 40 Chart appears to have been successful, as the song reached number four in the chart, amidst the race to the top of this Sunday’s chart.
The divisive campaign was started in response to the death of former prime minister Maragaret Thatcher, who died on Monday, aged 87 from a stroke.
By Wednesday, the recording of the song credited to the Wizard of Oz Film Cast, had reached number ten in the chart, but by Thursday, it was at number four and still moving.
Ding Dong the Witch is Dead from the 1939 film the Wizard of Oz, and the phrase itself, had become synonymous with social media messages by those opposed to Thatcher’s politics.
The Facebook group heading up the campaign on Thursday contained almost 8,000 members.
Thatcher’s politics on gay issues proved to be divisive for the LGBT community. She voted for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967; however, her government in 1987 introduced the highly controversial Section 28, which banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools.
According to the Official Chart, another version of the song by Ella Fitzgerald had also entered the charts, but was still outside of number 75.
At time of publication, the song had reached number one in the iTunes UK chart.
Some Thatcher opponents, and those who have taken distaste at claims that the former Prime Minster was considered an icon by some gay people, have noted the potential irony in her death bringing a Judy Garland song into the UK chart.
Others have tweeted to point out the potential difficulties faced by the BBC, as Radio One could be placed in a difficult situation if it is made to play the song on Sunday’s chart show.
One Twitter user asked: “Could the official chart show even mention
@dongthewitch getting to #1?”
Social media websites exploded on Monday with people’s reactions to Thatcher’s death, many celebrating, and others paying tribute. Street parties took place in London, Bristol and Glasgow last night, in celebration.
On Tuesday, X Factor singer Rylan Clark deleted a tweet in tribute to Thatcher, after being reminded of her role in introducing Section 28 and her general disdain for gay rights. Clark tweeted: “Getting a bit of backlash about thatcher, maybe I’m not up on history???