Judy Garland’s 1939 rendition of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead is currently sitting at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart, according to the mid-week Official Chart Update.
Why the sudden surge in popularity for this 70-odd year old song? In two words: Margaret Thatcher.
A campaign called “Make ‘Ding Dong The Witch is Dead’ Number 1 the week Thatcher dies” has attracted more than 5,400 supporters on Facebook since the former Prime Minister passed away on Monday.
And, as a consequence, Garland’s song from ’30s screen classic The Wizard of Oz has now sold over 10,600 digital copies, which the Official Singles Chart gatekeepers say is “roughly 5,000 copies away from a Top 3 placing at this mid-way stage.”
There are two other versions of the tune also picking up sales following the launch of the campaign: Ella Fitzgerald’s 1961 cover, which is at number 146 in the charts, and the Munchkins’ rendition, which is presently in at number 183.
In a post made on its Facebook page, one of the campaign’s organisers wrote: “There was a chance that thatchers legacy was either, ‘nation saviour’ or ‘nation destroyer’ depending on what side of good and evil you are on.
“Lets change that, lets make her legacy ‘The women who’s death led to ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’ going to Number 1’.”
But despite the mounting popularity of the track, the Facebook campaign has met with disapproval in some quarters. “The people trying to get “ding ding the witch is dead” to number 1 in the charts disgust me,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Despite Margaret thatcher making Britain hell it’s sad leaving her family to ‘ding song the witch is dead’ being number two in the charts,” said another.
This week’s final chart positions will be revealed on Radio 1’s Official Chart Show on Sunday from 4:00-7:00pm.
See the segment of The Wizard of Oz containing Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead below: