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article imageBBC in quandary over this week's Top Ten as 'Oz' track zooms

By Anne Sewell     Apr 11, 2013 in Entertainment
With Judy Garland's version of "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead" reaching number 10 on the charts in reference to the death of Margaret Thatcher, the BBC is wondering whether to play it on Radio 1's top 40 countdown when places are finalized at the weekend.
Digital Journal reported on the old track from the "Wizard of Oz" racing up the charts after the announcement of the death of former PM Thatcher. It seems this has put the BBC in a bit of a quandary as to whether they should actually play the song, which has surged in popularity since Baroness Thatcher passed away.
Apparently an online campaign has sent the sales of the song skyrocketing, placing it currently at number 10 in the charts. With a Facebook campaign with 5,000 members running, it is expected that the song will rank even higher.
The Official Charts Company said in a statement, "As of midnight last night (Tuesday, April 9) Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead, credited to the Wizard Of Oz Film Cast, has sold over 10,600 copies, which is roughly 5,000 copies away from a Top 3 placing at this mid-way stage."
And according to the BBC, "Radio 1 will run through the Official Chart Update today as normal, however we only play a selection of entries each week."
"The Official Chart Show on Sunday is a historical and factual account of what the British public has been buying and we will make a decision about playing it when the final chart positions are clear."
So it looks like they might be obliged to play the song, which is also, apparently number one in the iTunes download chart.
However apparently it is understood that if the decision is taken not to play the song it would have nothing to do with worries over offending people and would instead be due to "production reasons".
The song, featured in the 1939 musical version of "The Wizard of Oz" is sung by Judy Garland, playing the part of Dorothy, together with the Munchkins and Glinda the Good Witch, who is played by Billie Burke.
Some are claiming that the song, at 51 seconds long, is too short to qualify for a chart position, but according to the Official Charts Company this is not the case.
However, it should be noted that this is not the only version selling at the moment, with a performance by Ella Fitzgerald featuring at 146 and one by the Munchkins at 183 on the charts.
While many mourned the former Prime Minister who died aged 87 on Monday, many others saw her death as a cause for celebration. The popularity of the song comes as violence has erupted in the streets at special "death parties" held to celebrate the passing of Baroness Thatcher.
There is much concern about Thatcher's funeral next week, amongst fears that militant groups, anti-austerity protesters or even dissident Irish Republicans might try to disrupt the ceremony.
The funeral is to be held at St Paul's Cathedral and looks likely to present a security challenge unforeseen since the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
More about Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, Margaret thatcher, BBC, Top ten, Baroness thatcher
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