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Harold Arlen's son condemns witch song campaign

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Apr 14, 2013 | 7:42am EDT

The son of Harold Arlen has hit out at activists for using his father's classic song Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead to celebrate the passing of Margaret Thatcher. The death of the controversial former U.K. Prime Minister on Monday (08Apr13) has divided the U.K., and an online campaign was launched to get the beloved The Wizard of Oz track to the top of the singles chart on Sunday (14Apr13) to mark Thatcher's passing. Two of the movie's stars, Ruth Duccini and Jerry Maren, blasted the plans, and now Sam Arlen, whose father Harold composed the track, has spoken out to condemn the move. He tells Britain's Sunday Express, "I am bitterly upset and angry this is happening. My father would have been appalled. His music has brought joy to millions over the decades in almost every country in the world. I think he would feel devastated that it has been turned into an anthem of political hate." BBC bosses will air a five-second clip of the track in a news bulletin to explain the reasons behind its comeback during Sunday's chart show, but Sam Arlen is urging them to refuse to play it at all. He adds, "I believe it will be in incredibly bad taste to air it like this. I feel truly sorry for her family that Ding Dong! is being used to taunt her in death." Arlen is also considering ­taking legal advice over how he could stem "spite sales" of the track but adds, "I very much doubt there is anything I can do."

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