Those Cheeky Brits Almost Made ‘Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ the U.K.’s Top Single
Grassroots Margaret Thatcher F-you fell 5,700 shy of No. 1
The people of Great Britain really didn’t like late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Morrissey summed it up best when he lovingly wrote, “no British politician has ever been more despised by the British people than Margaret Thatcher.” Equally telling are the actions of the citizens themselves: namely, the grassroots campaign to hoist Wizard of Oz song “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead,” up the U.K. charts in Thatcher’s, um, honor.
The week of Thatcher’s passing, “Ding-Dong” moved 52,605 downloads, just 5,700 short of the top spot, NME reports. What was No. 1, then? Something called Duke Dumont and A*M*E*’s “Need You (100%),” because, you know, it’s the U.K.
The British try to pull these cheeky chart stunts on an annual basis — they recently tried to make John Cage’s silent 4’33” composition and Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” the top Christmas singles — and while they failed to get the witchy single into top spot, their efforts made the Oz track the shortest Top 10 single ever thanks to all 55 seconds of it.