/ Ding Dong! Will they or won't they?

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FrankBooth - on 12 Apr 2013
Interesting for a song to get potentially banned from Radio 1 because of context rather than content...

The BBC's top bod is expected to make the call as to whether Radio 1 will play 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' on this sunday's chart (it's currently at no. 3 in the charts, no. 1 iTunes download)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/apr/12/bbc-chief-ding-dong-thatcher
Dom Brown - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to FrankBooth: they will play a clip of the song in "a news environment"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21241791
Toby S - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to FrankBooth:

If the 'outraged of Tunbridge Wells' mob are so upset by it then why don't they find a song that Thatcher liked and buy that instead?
Ramblin dave - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Toby S:
You can't just go letting the market decide like that - we need more state control!
Douglas Griffin - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to FrankBooth:

There was a very good Tweet earlier today suggesting that the BBC plays the tune but with the words spoken by an actor.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to FrankBooth:

How about Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady (But not on my terms)?
paul-1970 - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

> There was a very good Tweet earlier today suggesting that the BBC plays the tune but with the words spoken by an actor.

My vote would be for Brian Blessed to intone the words in his usual rather louder than necessary style.
paul-1970 - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to FrankBooth:

I was pondering on this subject today while walking into uni! It's interesting that a song may be banned or refused play not because of the content of the song, but because of the reasons of the people who are buying it! An authoritarian stance that even Reith himself would have baulked at.

Even I as a Thatcher-hater has to concede that it is in rather poor taste however, so I can understand the consternation at the top about whether or not to air the track. But my trying to be fair thought was that they certainly should play it as usual as part of the chart. Otherwise consistency demands that all such cynical manipulations of music buying should also be met with a ban or a 'newsbeat' story snippeting the track to mask the banning. I seem to remember that 'Killing in the name' was played (albeit sanitised of the naughty words) when it last charted, even though the purchasing of the song was more about a demonstration against Simon Cowell, rather than appreciation toward Rage against the Machine.

I did think though that a similar thing happened back in 1977 when the Sex Pistols' "God save the Queen" was also banned because of its anti-royalist sentiment at the time of the silver Jubilee. As far as I'm aware, there is no swearing or overtly obviously offensive lyrics in the song. Yet because of the context, the disdain of the establishment and probable pressure brought to bear on the BBC, it was banned and not played.

36 years later we've hardly moved on.
Fat Bumbly2 - on 12 Apr 2013
God Save the Queen was a good one, in those days you had to make a bit more effort to buy a single. There is also a suspicion that the BBC fiddled the charts, as it was No.1 in the NME and Melody Maker charts.

BBC painted into a corner and forced into censorship, a bit of a result for those buying the track. I just hope that some pro-Thatcher tracks make it up the chart now, that will really expose the BBC.
Chris the Tall - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to FrankBooth)
>
> There was a very good Tweet earlier today suggesting that the BBC plays the tune but with the words spoken by an actor.

Like !!
FrankBooth - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:
> I just hope that some pro-Thatcher tracks make it up the chart now, that will really expose the BBC.
like this..?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bzWSJG93P8
Eric9Points - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to paul-1970:
> (In reply to FrankBooth)
>
>
> Even I as a Thatcher-hater has to concede that it is in rather poor taste however

Well absolutely, and in even poorer taste to download it as a ringtone onto your smartphone from Googleplay for 99p.
Postmanpat on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Dom Brown:
> (In reply to FrankBooth) they will play a clip of the song in "a news environment"
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21241791

The BBC at it's most spineless. Just play the bloody song.

paul-1970 - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to paul-1970)
> [...]
>
> Well absolutely, and in even poorer taste to download it as a ringtone onto your smartphone from Googleplay for 99p.

Absolutely. I would totally deplore anyone who might be tempted to click on this link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ding-Dong-The-Witch-Dead/dp/B0023NDFFO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365786723... and download it for just 69p. Imagine how dreadful it would be if it got to No. 1?

dale1968 - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to paul-1970: capitalist making money out of commies, maggie would be having a good laugh at that, oh the irony!
Blue Straggler - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to paul-1970:
> (In reply to FrankBooth)

> refused play not because of the content of the song, but because of the reasons of the people who are buying it! An authoritarian stance that even Reith himself would have baulked at.

I felt the same about the "get Rage Against the Machine to number 1" thing.
The number 1 song should be the song that has been bought by the most people who like the song, rather than the song that has been bought by people trying to make some sort of point (you may argue the same about FGTH's Relax, but at least that was in fact a current release and popular and going to be somewhere in the charts anyway)
John Foster - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Dom Brown)
> [...]
>
> The BBC at it's most spineless.

I agree that this appears to be weak leadership.

My personal view is that the song should not be played as it is in obvious poor taste and will be offensive to a proportion of the population. As a publically funded broadcaster, this would have been a reasonable stance to take. I don't believe the BBC are obliged to play any song, regardless of chart position.

If the opposite decision was made, however, whilst disagreeing with it, I would not be unduly perturbed.

Part of the sizeable licence fee could perhaps be devoted to management capable of making the necessary judgement...

John.
andy - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to John Foster:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
>
> My personal view is that the song should not be played as it is in obvious poor taste and will be offensive to a proportion of the population.

Who of course wouldn't be listening to the Top 40 show anyway, but there seems to be a tendency for people to get outraged about things they haven't seen/read/heard other than in the media.

Kent police are apparently bound to investigate complaints about tweets from paris thingy two years after they were posted because some nobheads decided they'd been offended by them when they read them in the bloody Mail on Sunday.
John Foster - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to John Foster)
> [...]
>
> Who of course wouldn't be listening to the Top 40 show anyway, but there seems to be a tendency for people to get outraged about things they haven't seen/read/heard other than in the media.
>

Unnecessary outrage is definitely an unattractive spectacle. Indignation at something as outrageous as the BBC playing 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' in the aftermath of Margaret Thatcher's death is probably fair enough though, to a reasonable observer.

John.
Fat Bumbly2 - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to John Foster: Just imagine if everyone ignored this story. Sales would be lower, it will have gone away. Nothing to see here.

Streisland effect again. Ella Fitzgerald's version of the Munchin Song is climbing and Tramp the Dirt Down is no 5 in Amazon's chart.

Mind much of the usual chart which is hosting this intrusion is pretty offensive - well to my ears at least.
John Foster - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:

Is that the Barbara Streisland effect? It would be good to see her in the charts again - the 1970s were clearly not all bad!

I guess you are right - I should not add further to the brouhaha.

John.
The New NickB - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to John Foster:

Go on John explain why it would be outrageous!
Dominion - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to FrankBooth:

Thatcher would have chosen in your face confrontation rather than political correctness or care about the social consequences of her actions, and would have done an obsequious and patronising interview for TV defending her position, whilst being strident and bossy in Parliament about exactly the same issue.

She would not have a problem with this.


My first reaction on hearing that she had died was exactly "ding dong the witch is dead"

She was / still is one of the most influential politicians of the 20th Century, in Britain at least, and she was incredibly divisive - I would say deliberately divisive - in order to engineer social divisions specifically so that she could use social pressures (often via Rupert Murdoch leading the way in tabloid journalism - nowadays called "spin") so she could pass legislation that she could have passed anyway as she had a majority in both the Commons and the Lords.

But she needed an engineered public hate campaign to justify her legislation, and she did not give a toss about the social consequences,

So I reckon she would appreciate the campaign, She never walked away from deliberately sticking a finger up at people she wanted to destroy.
John Foster - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to John Foster)
>
> Go on John explain why it would be outrageous!

Because this would be seen as a contributing to the celebration of another human being's death.

I would be disappointed to see the BBC provide such endorsement.

John.

Fat Bumbly2 - on 12 Apr 2013
I see that I'm In Love With Margaret Thatcher is no. 2 in the Amazon downloads. Hope it keeps selling, that would really put the BBC in a corner.

Or would they just lump them all together with the" Now Children, I am going to tell you a story" presenter.

Jon Stewart - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Dom Brown:
> (In reply to FrankBooth) they will play a clip of the song in "a news environment"
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21241791

Seems to me like the best compromise would be to put in the newsbeat "header and footer" but still play the song. That way, there can be no accusation of censorship (which playing a 5 second clip is) and the edge can be taken off the disrespectful nature of the BBC playing for the song for those who want to dance around /singalong to.

Doubtless, the disapproving announcement would not be enough for some people, but those people need to have a think about the difference between what is harmful and what is tasteless and where they think the line for censorship should be drawn.
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to paul-1970:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
> [...]
>
> Absolutely. I would totally deplore anyone who might be tempted to click on this link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ding-Dong-The-Witch-Dead/dp/B0023NDFFO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365786723... and download it for just 69p. Imagine how dreadful it would be if it got to No. 1?

Thank you for deploring that, I have now actually paid for and downloaded my first ever mp3 from a commercial site... with a bit of luck it'll get to number 1 :-)

I've got the original on a VHS cassette but it was high time I went digital on this very important work of art.
Toby S - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to John Foster:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>

>
> My personal view is that the song should not be played as it is in obvious poor taste and will be offensive to a proportion of the population.

Tough. Let them be offended. They're allowed to be.
winhill - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to John Foster:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [Go on John explain why it would be outrageous!]
>
> Because this would be seen as a contributing to the celebration of another human being's death.
>
> I would be disappointed to see the BBC provide such endorsement.
>
> John.

But if a bunch of Geordies managed to get Fog on the Tyne played to celebrate Newcastle winning the FA Cup, no one would be saying that the BBC were celebrating or endorsing Newcastle, would they?
Gordon Stainforth - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Dominion:

Well said, Dominion. Every word you say is true, and cannot be denied, though for many it's an uncomfortable truth, it seems.
Postmanpat on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to John Foster)
> [...]
>
> But if a bunch of Geordies managed to get Fog on the Tyne played to celebrate Newcastle winning the FA Cup, no one would be saying that the BBC were celebrating or endorsing Newcastle, would they?

I'm in favour of just playing the song. But say Alex ferguson keeled over and Liverpool and City fans were downloading "The old bastard's dead" or whatever. Should the BBC play it?
John Rushby - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

I hear perfectly elocouted laughing from beyond the grave, with the song Two Little Boys playing quietly in the background
John Foster - on 12 Apr 2013
In reply to Toby S:

I guess this just boils down to the fact that I find this rejoicing in death a sad reflection on humanity.

I am not offended that others would adopt a different view.

I suspect the BBC have succeeded in not pleasing anyone with their compromise on this issue.

On reflection, this is probably the fairest outcome!
The New NickB - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to John Foster:

It is a song from a 70 year old film, there is nothing offensive about it's content. The chart is the chart and the BBC play the chart on a Sunday afternoon. Whilst many may find the reason why this particular song has been bought offensive the song isn't.
Tony Naylor on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> The BBC at it's most spineless. Just play the bloody song.

Not much chance of them playing this one, then:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcXi-VYy_Yw


IainRUK - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to Dominion:
> (In reply to FrankBooth)
>
> But she needed an engineered public hate campaign to justify her legislation, and she did not give a toss about the social consequences,
>
> So I reckon she would appreciate the campaign, She never walked away from deliberately sticking a finger up at people she wanted to destroy.

She didn't walk away.. I think she actually enjoyed it.. because she often came out on top... which is why, now dead, people can get the upper hand.. because they rarely could when she was alive..

I'm not in favour of this celebrating but have had a chuckle at a few of the jokes going around..

Blue Straggler - on 13 Apr 2013
Leaving the BBC aside for a moment, this whole Ding Dong ding dong has generated a great Sun headline.

Bulls Crack - on 13 Apr 2013
In reply to John Foster:
> (In reply to Toby S)
>
> I guess this just boils down to the fact that I find this rejoicing in death a sad reflection on humanity.
>
> I am not offended that others would adopt a different view.
>
> I suspect the BBC have succeeded in not pleasing anyone with their compromise on this issue.
>
> On reflection, this is probably the fairest outcome!

Pretty substantial fence you're sitting on there!
mgco3 - on 14 Apr 2013
In reply to FrankBooth: If the media hadn't "Hyped" the whole thing sky high in their desire to make headlines(sell newspapers and profit from the whole issue) the song probably wouldn't have made it into the charts. Even if it did make it to number one (doubtful if it would without all the Hype) it probably wouldn't have even been noticed.

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