Nope, the title to this week’s musical blog isn’t a type-o.
And, yes, I am referring to the 1939 musical number performed by the Munchkins from MGM’s classic film, The Wizard of Oz.
It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, so here’s a clip to refresh your memory and bring a nostalgic smile to your face this Monday morning.
Did you enjoy it? Me, too.
Why are we listening to the Munchkins, Erika? It’s Monday morning. Bring on the Maiden, the Nightwish, let’s get this week started.
Excellent question, my friends, most logical.
The answer is simple. The song is back. At least, this week it’s back.
Last week Baroness Margaret Thatcher passed away. (Incidentally, did you know she was a baroness? I did not.) Since her death on April 8th, our friends across the pond have been in an uproar of more than one type.
First, there’s been the hoopla over the song, Ding Dong The Witch is Dead. A Facebook campaign by protester Mark Biddiss took off, urging people in Britain to make the 1939 song #1 as a statement regarding Thatcher’s policies and their effects upon the country, which linger even today. The song did reach #1 in Scotland and Wales, just missing the British top spot by 5000+ units. This is even more impressive when you consider that the version being sold is only fifty-one seconds, making it the shortest single to chart so high in Great Britain. Thatcher’s supporters are so upset there have been calls to ban the song.
Second, there’s this business of silencing Big Ben during Thatcher’s funeral services as a sign of respect. This is a big deal as the clock, aside from some times of repair and upkeep, has not been silenced since the death of Winston Churchill in 1965. The British House of Commons plans a formal debate on the merits of Thatcherism, the political ideology she implemented during her time as Prime Minister from 1979-1990.
Yep, it’s getting heated over there.
Naturally, I can’t, literally, can’t, help putting in my two cents. I’ll probably get yelled at, but them’s the breaks.
Clearly, the late “Iron Lady” and I would never see eye-to-eye on many issues. (I know, understatement much, Erika?) That being said, I have one word for the Ding Dong song, tacky. Somewhere out there her family and friends are mourning a huge loss, an irreplaceable hole in their lives. Let them grieve for her with dignity.
To those on the other side calling for a ban on the song, I have another word, idiotic. Banning the song is, first of all, depriving people of their freedom of speech and, clearly, by the response, people certainly seem to have something they would like to get off their chests. Second, a ban would raise the song’s visibility and popularity to viral status, probably not what Thatcher’s adherents have in mind.
As to the Big Ben controversy, there I have to admit that I’m surprised she’s receiving such an honor. While as a feminist I admire the tenacity and ability of the only woman to serve as Great Britain’s leader, as a person deeply not in favor of her politics I have to shake my head. For me, she does not rise to the near-mythic status of Churchill, despite having served as Prime Minister longer than any other during the twentieth century. I’m sorry, the Falklands versus World War Two?
As a nod to Roger Ebert, who also passed away last week, here’s the recap:
Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead– thumbs down.
Big Ben silenced- thumbs down.
And that’s my two cents. Have a nice day.
This post was written by Erika Gardner. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog. Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.