Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female Prime Minister, died after having a stroke.
Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female Prime Minister, died after having a stroke.

'Witch' song rises on iTunes after Margaret Thatcher's death

LADY Thatcher's death could propel The Wizard Of Oz track "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" to the top of the charts.

Those who saw her death as a cause for celebration have prompted a download surge for the track.

Within 24 hours of the former Prime Minister's death, the song had risen to number 9 in the iTunes best-sellers chart.

It reached number 2 on the Amazon singles download chart.

Sales figures for Monday, released by the Official Charts Company, showed that the song had already made it to number 54 in the rundown used by Radio 1.

It is expected to climb higher as a result of a Facebook campaign being set up to encourage sales.

Another performance of the song by Ella Fitzgerald stood at 146 in the Official Chart and one by the Munchkins is at 183.

If sales of the three versions had been combined it would be selling strongly enough to be at number 40.

The Facebook group, encouraging people to download the "Witch" song to get it to number one, already had 664 members and was originally set up back in July 2007.

The song was written by EY Harburg and composed by Harold Arlen and featured in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

A song specifically written to attack Lady Thatcher, "Tramp The Dirt Down" by Elvis Costello, also rose to 79 on the iTunes chart.

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Respect MP George Galloway tweeted the title of the 1988 song, which includes the lyrics: "When they finally put you in the ground, they'll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down."

Entrepreneurial fashion outlets were quick to cash in on the death.

One boutique in Shoreditch, east London, placed T-shirts featuring Warhol-style portraits of Lady Thatcher in its window.

The Redbubble online clothing store was selling black and white T-shirts featuring a stark portrait of the politician with the word "DEAD" below, for £15.

However there appears to be a limit to the public appetite for all things Thatcher-related.

A peak-time BBC1 90-minute obituary, narrated by Andrew Marr and broadcast on Monday night, attracted fewer than 3 million viewers.

News bulletins providing blanket coverage of the death failed to record a viewing rise.

Britain's first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died at the Ritz hotel in London on Monday following a stroke. She was 87.


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