Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead tops download chart after Thatcher death

Ben Arnold

'Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead' has risen to number one in the iTunes chart, and so far sits at number 10 in the Official Singles Chart due to a campaign to get the track to number one following the death of Margaret Thatcher.

The song, from the soundtrack to the 1939 film 'The Wizard of Oz', appeared in the chart just 12 hours after the death of the former prime minister, and has been rising ever since.

[Related story: Interview with the woman behind the Ding Dong! campaign]
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According to the Official Charts Company, the track, credited to the 'Wizard of Oz Film Cast', has sold more than 10,600 copies, leaving it around 5000 copies shy of a top three placing.

Other versions of the song, one credited to July Garland and another cover version sung by Ella Fitzgerald, are also appearing in the official chart, at number 54 and 146 respectively.

It is already one of the shortest songs ever to chart, coming in at 51 seconds long.

It's not clear yet whether the BBC will play the song on the Official Chart Show on Sunday. In a statement quoted by the Daily Mail, the BBC said: "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."

The campaign began on Wednesday on Facebook and has since been gathering pace, with the page boasting 7,383 members at the time of writing.

The chart closes at midnight on Saturday, after which the placings will be announced on Radio 1's Official Chart Update show on Sunday.

The news follows director Ken Loach suggesting that Thatcher's funeral be privatised, rather be paid for from the public purse, as it would be 'what she would have wanted'.

Thatcher died on Monday 8 April, following a stroke. She was 87.