Opponents of the late Margaret Thatcher are taking a kind of musical revenge on the former prime minister, pushing the song Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead up the British charts in a posthumous protest over her polarizing policies.
The online campaign had propelled the Wizard of Oz song to No. 1 on British iTunes and into the top five of the music chart used by the BBC to compile its weekly radio countdown.
The unusual campaign has caused a headache for the BBC. With the ditty near the top of the charts, the broadcaster faced the prospect of airing the words “The Wicked Witch is Dead!” on its Sunday countdown show, just days before Thatcher’s funeral.
The controversy, which made the front pages of many national newspapers, serves as a strange musical coda to Thatcher’s time in office. The woman known to many as the “Iron Lady” was in power for 11 years, during which she wrenched Britain from the economic doldrums and successfully retook the Falkland Islands after Argentina’s 1982 invasion.
Many still resent Thatcher for her uncompromising stance against the country’s labor unions and what they saw as her inhumanity toward the working class. The campaign to send Ding Dong! to the top of the charts began soon after she died of a stroke at London’s Ritz Hotel.