Irish radio won’t ban ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ despite Maggie Thatcher links

A scene from the 1939 film 'The Wizard of Oz.' The movie's song 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' has hit the weekly top 40 charts in Ireland since Margaret Thatcher's death.

The controversial song used to celebrate Maggie Thatcher’s death by her opponents is now soaring up the charts in Ireland – and won’t be banned from the national airwaves.

Judy Garland’s ‘Ding, Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ has become the oldest recording ever to enter the Irish weekly top 40 after entering at number 33.

The Garland version of the song, from the 'Wizard of Oz' movie, is one of a number of versions selling well in Ireland since Thatcher’s death.

The Irish Independent reports that an online campaign by anti-Thatcherites in Britain has helped hurtle the 'Wizard Of Oz' song towards the top of the pops.

The song’s popularity has resulted in a huge headache for the BBC on whether to play it or not during the weekly charts show.

Irish state broadcaster RTE has said it will not ban the song and it is being played on their pop music station 2fm.

A spokeswoman told the Irish Independent: “The song is not play-listed on 2fm as it doesn’t necessarily fit with the station’s usual output, but there are certainly no restrictions on the song and DJs are free to play it as they see fit.”

Irish Record Music Association Dick Doyle, whose body compiles Ireland’s music singles countdown, said it would only take 300 or 400 sales to get into the top 40.

He said: “It would take a few thousand to reach number one at this time of year. That figure might be higher at Christmas but this is around the quietest time of the year.”

Doyle told the paper that he did not expect the track to reach number one, judging by previous trends for novelty or campaign-driven entries.

He added: “It would take a huge number of downloads to get up there. It would be very difficult to do that.”

Another version of the song by the artist Ella Fitzgerald is also selling well in Ireland according to reports.

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