Anti-Thatcher song 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' misses top spot in Radio 1 charts

 

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead - the song propelled into the charts by opponents of Baroness Thatcher - has failed to reach the number one spot.

The recording, taken from 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, entered the charts at number two.

It was more than 5,000 sales short of this week's chart-topper Need U (100%) by Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E.

The Official Charts Company described Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead as "one of the most controversial chart contenders of all time".

Sales were fuelled by an online campaign organised by opponents of the former prime minister, who wanted to see the 51-second song reach number one.

It entered the charts at number 54 on Tuesday, the day after Baroness Thatcher's death, and climbed to number 10 on Wednesday. By Thursday, it had reached number four and was at number three by Friday.

There was a final rush of 18,000 sales between Friday morning and today, the Official Charts Company said, but its final total was 52,605 copies - 5,700 behind Duke Dumont, which achieved 58,321 sales in the past week.

An Official Charts Company spokeswoman said it had been a "relatively quiet" week for sales however, with the average sale of a number one in 2012 being just under 106,000 copies.

Some Tory MPs demanded the BBC ban the song - but others warned that politicians should not interfere in the choice of records played by broadcasters.

New BBC Director General Tony Hall has explained the broadcaster's decision to only play a five-second clip of the song as part of a news item during the Radio 1 chart show, saying: "I personally believe it is distasteful and inappropriate.

"However I do believe it would be wrong to ban the song outright as free speech is an important principle and a ban would only give it more publicity."

Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper agreed it was a "logical decision".

Despite failing to reach the top spot, Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead has broken a new record by becoming the shortest top 10 single of all time and is the only one in history to be under a minute long.

Punk song I'm In Love With Margaret Thatcher by the Notsensibles, which was featured in recent film The Iron Lady, also entered the top 40 today.

The 1979 single reached number 35 after a push from fans of Lady Thatcher in response to Ding Dong The Witch is Dead and sold 8,768 copies.

During the Radio 1 chart show, DJ Jameela Jamil said there was a "brand new entry at number two" before introducing Newsbeat music's reporter.

Sinead Garvan explained the context of the single's appearance in the charts to listeners of the station, which has a target audience of 15 to 29-year-olds.

She told them: "Tributes poured in from across the world for Margaret Thatcher when she died on Monday, but there were also people who threw street parties around the UK.

"An online campaign began in 2007 to try to get this song, Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, to number one in the charts the week Lady Thatcher died."

A short segment of the song, featuring the lyrics: "Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead", was then played for a matter of seconds.

Ms Garvan then said Lady Thatcher had "strongly divided opinion", before listeners heard a brief instrumental section of the recording. The show also asked members of the public for their thoughts, with mixed opinions being aired.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman
film
News
Top Gear presenter James May appears to be struggling with his new-found free time
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kendrick Lamar at the Made in America Festival in Los Angeles last summer
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Marley & Me' with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Hamm (right) and John Slattery in the final series of Mad Men
tv
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor