When Malcolm was going Song for song yesterday, he was missing the Big Event.
Whisper it very low: Ding Dong the Witch is Dead is, after all, foul deep-Pinko agitprop:
Dorian Lynskey has the full filth in today’s Guardian supplement:
I’ve become annoyed by the liberal fingerwaggers, solemnly telling the people who hated Thatcher the “proper” way to mark her death. She was a deliberately divisive politician who caused a great deal of suffering to sectors of society that she didn’t value and it’s absurd to insist that people should hold their tongues just because she became old and frail. That just isn’t human nature and the charts, at their most interesting, reflect the messy, visceral, impulsive side of human nature.
They are also dictated by something that Thatcher knew and loved: pounds and pence. Tasteless this campaign may be, but it’s freedom, democracy and market forces in action. Better yet, some of the royalties go to the estate of lyricist EY “Yip” Harburg, the proud leftie (“Yip” was derived from the acronym for the Young People’s Socialist League) who wrote Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? and was driven out of Hollywood by the Red Scare blacklist. Ding dong to that.
Harburg was not only the lyricist for the song that epitomises the Great Depression, and for the Oscar-winning songs in Wizard of Oz, he also wrote for Finian’s Rainbow — which, in 1947, was the first time Broadway saw a racially-integrated chorus line. And Harburg smuggled in another bit of subversive socialism:
Let’s reprise that, for the benefit of Gids Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith:
When a rich man doesn’t want to work,
He’s a bon vivant, yes, he’s a bon vivant;
But when a poor man doesn’t want to work,
He’s a loafer, he’s a lounger, he’s a lazy good for nothing, he’s a jerk.
Inevitably, as a figure on the left (Henry Wallace campaign as the Progressive Party nominee in 1948), Harburg was listed by Red Channels in the great clear-out of politically-unreliable talent during the McCarthyite purges. He was out of Hollywood, but continued to fill jobs for Broadway.
That kind of censorship is just what the Daily Mail would believe in.