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“Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead” tops U.K. charts after Thatcher’s death

A Facebook campaign by detractors lifts the classic “Wizard of Oz” to top of the pops.
/ Source: Martin Bashir

A Facebook campaign by detractors lifts the classic “Wizard of Oz” to top of the pops.

The death of Margaret Thatcher has already dredged up a lot of mixed emotions among people in the United Kingdom.

But now it appears to have dredged up a song that first came out in 1939, and sent it all the way to number ten on the current U.K. charts.

Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead“—one of the favorite tunes from “The Wizard of Oz”—has now become a favorite song for critics of the late Prime Minster, who died after suffering a stroke Monday at London’s Ritz hotel. On that very day, a group of Thatcher detractors created a Facebook page called “Make Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead Number One the Week Thatcher Dies.”

According to the Official Charts Company—which compiles rankings from various U.K. charts—there were more than 10,600 downloads of the classic Judy Garland song before midnight on Tuesday. The Guardian also reports that the song needs just 5,000 more downloads before Friday to be one of the week’s top three selling singles.

Covers of “Ding Dong” by Ella Fitzgerald and the Munchkins have also risen to the 150th and 183rd places respectively.

Plans for Thatcher’s funeral are also controversial. Initial reports suggested State funeral services could cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $12 million dollars. A spokesman for Prime Minster David Cameron denied that claim, however, and reiterated calls from Cameron’s Conservative Party-led government to halt the “tasteless” celebrations and violence marking Thatcher’s passing.

Left-leaning filmmaker Ken Loach offered this ironic tribute to Thatcher’s economic philosophy, as a way of sparing public dollars for the Thatcher memorial:

“Let’s privatize her funeral. Put it out to competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. It’s what she would have wanted.”