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The BBC's dilemma: to play or not to play that song?


What should the BBC do in relation to "that song"?


  • Total voters
    210
  • Poll closed .
J

Johnny Boy

'Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead' closer to number one spot as it reaches top five following Margaret Thatcher's death - News - Music - The Independent

The Wizard Of Oz song "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" is racing to the top of the UK charts this week following the death of Margaret Thatcher. Clearly worried about whether to play the song or not, if it reaches No. 1, the BBC have admitted that they are undecided, caught between being accused of censorship if they refuse, and downright bad taste if they do.
A Daily Telegraph commentator today said that it might be the "most inappropriate and gratuitously offensive number one hit single ever". Thatcher's critics might well respond that she in turn was the "most inappropriate and gratuitously offensive British prime minister ever".
The best argument I've heard for propelling the song into the charts is that it is acting as a counter-balance to the cloyingly positive media coverage over the last few days, which has been irritating for someone (i.e. myself) who despised everything she stood for.
The argument against i.e. good taste, is so obvious as to not need a huge amount of elaboration.
My own view: it is in bad taste, but the BBC should go ahead and respect the verdict of record buyers, and stick to its usual custom of playing the week's No. 1, whatever that happens to be.
 

Narcissist

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
1,364
If it is the normal custom for the BBC to play the song at the top of the charts then they should continue to do so.

It is not up to the BBC to censor music, really.
 

Nedz Newt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2007
Messages
3,451
'Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead' closer to number one spot as it reaches top five following Margaret Thatcher's death - News - Music - The Independent

The Wizard Of Oz song "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" is racing to the top of the UK charts this week following the death of Margaret Thatcher. Clearly worried about whether to play the song or not, if it reaches No. 1, the BBC have admitted that they are undecided, caught between being accused of censorship if they refuse, and downright bad taste if they do.
A Daily Telegraph commentator today said that it might be the "most inappropriate and gratuitously offensive number one hit single ever". Thatcher's critics might well respond that she in turn was the "most inappropriate and gratuitously offensive British prime minister ever".
The best argument I've heard for propelling the song into the charts is that it is acting as a counter-balance to the cloyingly positive media coverage over the last few days, which has been irritating for someone (i.e. myself) who despised everything she stood for.
The argument against i.e. good taste, is so obvious as to not need a huge amount of elaboration.
My own view: it is in bad taste, but the BBC should go ahead and respect the verdict of record buyers, and stick to its usual custom of playing the week's No. 1, whatever that happens to be.
Agreed, free speech must win out in any clash with taste.
Exercise of good taste ought to be volunteered, it can't be imposed.
 

44percent

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,230
They must play the song. Show the tributes and the criticism. There is bitterly divided opinion on her and the role of the BBC is to report the truth.
 

Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,845
Theres no free speech issue, whether they play it or not.

Play it on the chart shows sure, there's no obligation or reason for the other channels/shows to play it.

They frequently decide that certain stuff isn't for them (I remember robbie Williams and status quo being left off the playlists for instance).
 

Niall996

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
12,142
Who are the BBC to question the choice of the nation? Seriously, those clowns need to get a life.
 

SideysGhost

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
17,716
If it is the normal custom for the BBC to play the song at the top of the charts then they should continue to do so.

It is not up to the BBC to censor music, really.
They've done it before. Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax was number one for weeks when I was a teenager and the BBC refused to play it. Top of the Pops ended for weeks on end at #2 in the charts with no mention of what was #1. Mad stuff.

Crazed right-wingers will always find some way to foam at the mouth and try to get stuff banned that in any way pokes fun at their lunacy, bad taste or not. They hate this, not because it is in bad taste, but because it doesn't accord the automatic deference and respect right-wingers demand for their own. They get very cranky when they aren't grovelled to by the plebs they despise.
 

Mitsui2

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
33,382
The Wizard Of Oz song "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" is racing to the top of the UK charts this week following the death of Margaret Thatcher. Clearly worried about whether to play the song or not, if it reaches No. 1, the BBC have admitted that they are undecided, caught between being accused of censorship if they refuse, and downright bad taste if they do.
A Daily Telegraph commentator today said that it might be the "most inappropriate and gratuitously offensive number one hit single ever".
Well if it gets to number one then it's just one more triumph for market forces - surely that would be a fitting tribute to the woman?
 

borntorum

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
12,805
The Tories are in danger of overplaying their hand and antagonising lots of moderate people with their inappropriate imperial funeral for Thatcher. They'll really do themselves no favours if they attempt to suppress any dissenting opinions, no matter how relatively innocuous.
 
J

Johnny Boy

They've done it before. Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax was number one for weeks when I was a teenager and the BBC refused to play it. Top of the Pops ended for weeks on end at #2 in the charts with no mention of what was #1. Mad stuff.
They've been doing it for as long as I can recall, and I was watching TOTP from its earliest days in 1964.
Memorably (and incredibly now) when the Dubliners played Seven Drunken Nights live on TOTP in 1967 Ronnie Drew introduced the song by saying "This is a song about seven drunken nights, but we're only allowed to sing about five of them". RTE banned the song altogether of course. I can imagine that when "Je t'aime...moi non plus" hit the charts two years later, the very sound of Jane Birkin's raunchy, heavy breathing must have caused a few epileptic fits among the old boys running both RTE and the BBC. Both stations banned the record anyway, for many years.:)
 
J

Johnny Boy

There was an alternative.

The pro-Thatcherites should have chosen to out-bid the antis with an opposing choice of song.
Surely this would be more in their line.....................:)


[video=youtube;3_iQZiVD_zA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_iQZiVD_zA[/video]
 

H.R. Haldeman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
4,444
I was wondering whether something like this might happen with a song à la Rage Against the Machine. I thought it might be The Exploited (NSFW/language): The Exploited - Maggie you ****- YouTube, but in fairness that's probably too vulgar to get the message across. The Oz one is better as a piece of protest/rhetoric.

I admire the Brits' iconoclasm and dark sense of humour. This is rather typical of them. And there's always a very strong awkward squad in Britain on any given cosy consensus that might be forming, and I like that. It's a sign of a pretty advanced society that this kind of thing happens.
 

NewGoldDream

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Joined
Jun 13, 2004
Messages
20,929
Website
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The TOTP censorship nonsense I always remember was The Shamen's Ebeneezer Goode.

The BBC didn't like the line "anyone got any Veras", Vera Lynns being rhyming slang for skins, rolling papers. So they changed it to "anyone got any underlay" and said it was a reference to rugs, not drugs. Then a controversy arose because underlay sounds like andale, as in hurry up...or "speed".

Anyway, in all the furore, the BBC missed the entire point of the chorus..."Es are good, Es are good" which they sang away merrily...
 
J

Johnny Boy

To those bashing the Brits for banning songs, here's what Wiki says about Ulysses in Ireland:


Ulysses (novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I guess Ajai would call that an Irish solution to an Irish problem.
Oh I think we all know that we won the grand slam in that department for generations.................
I don't think this thread ever descended into a Brit bashing exercise, as such. It is more a collection of people intrigued by British cultural issues.
 

H.R. Haldeman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
4,444
Oh I think we all know that we won the grand slam in that department for generations.................
I don't think this thread ever descended into a Brit bashing exercise, as such. It is more a collection of people intrigued by British cultural issues.

Yeah, "bashing" wasn't the right word.

They also banned A Day in the Life for a period for drug references! Eh, what?? Unbelievable. (Here follows a totally gratuitous an unnecessary link, just because you can never hear it too often. In glorious stereo):

[video=youtube;j6dy_XZrx-4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6dy_XZrx-4[/video]
 
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