Ding Dong: tasteless but harmless
So the BBC has caved in and banned Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead to placate the right wing press and others who cannot see the joke, handing a small victory for censorship to those who have been screaming loudest against the proposals in the Leveson Report. There have, of course, been other examples of songs the BBC felt the need to ban, all ridiculous. My favourite example has always been the 1930s ban on a recording by Frank Crumit of the old Irish song about a man who falls down drunk in the gutter where he is joined by a stray pig “till a lady passing by was heard to say: ‘You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses’ – and the pig got up and slowly walked away.” You see why Lord Reith thought this was unsuitable for the ears of the public because heavy drinking was and remains a serious social issue. Making light of the death of Margaret Thatcher is tasteless but harmless.
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