Yeah, you’re thinking Maggie Thatcher died days ago, but …. the state-funded funeral is to take place soon, and her legacy of cuts to aid the rich, and destroying working-class communities continues, three decades on.
As Judy Garland’s Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead, of all songs, rockets to the top of the British download charts, we take a look at some of the finest anti-Thatcher (and by implication anti-Conservative) songs, both contemporaneous and those more recent, wishing her to die. There are so many more.
The protocol here is to have the video to the song, but you’re all web-savvy enough to go on YouTube and do that if you wish.
Simply Red: She’ll Have To Go (1989)
Mick Hucknall is a very rich man indeed, but he hated Thatcher: “Breaking our backs with slurs/And taking our tax for murdering/The only thing I know/She’ll have to go”.
Crass: How Does It Feel To Be The Mother of 1000 Dead? (1983)
During the Falklands War, Crass released Sheep Farming In The Falklands, which was castigated in Parliament and there was even an attempt to prosecute the band for obscenity.
This single was just as vehement about the conflict: “You smile in the face of the death cause you are so proud and vain/ Your inhumanity stops you from realising the pain/ That you inflicted, you determined, you created, you ordered/ It was your decision to have those young boys slaughtered.”
The The: Heartland (1986)
Matt Johnson lambasts Britain as the “51st state” of the United States while criticising Thatcher for turning the country into the land where “pensioners are raped and their hearts are being cut from the welfare state”. Johnson adds: “Let the poor drink their milk while the rich drink their honey/ Let the bums count their blessings, while they count their money”.
The Beat: Stand Down Margaret (1980)
The Beat were quick off the mark calling for her resignation the year after the Tories were elected. “I said I see no joy/ I see only sorry/ I see no chance of your bright new tomorrow/ So stand down Margaret/ Stand down please”. She didn’t listen and The Beat were proved correct.
Morrissey: Margaret on the Guillotine (1988)
“The kind people/ Have a wonderful dream … Margaret on the guillotine/ Cause people like you/ Make me feel so tired/ When will you die?”
It made Mozza the subject of an official investigation by British police.
The Specials: Ghost Town (1981)
Another ska classic about Thatcher’s economic policies that raped local communities. “This town’s becoming like a ghost town/ Government leaving the youth on the shelf.”
Newtown Neurotics: Kick Out the Tories (1981)
This underrated punk band’s third single was pretty self-explanatory: “Lets kick out the Tories/ the rulers of this land/ for they are the enemies, of the British working man/ and it shows, while that bastard is in, unemployment grows/ and it shows, in hospitals, factories and the schools that they’ve closed.”
Billy Bragg: Thatcherites (1996)
There are a number of Bragg tracks that could be included here (Between the Wars for example) but this is unusual that it was released (on a b-side) after Thatcher had fallen. Bragg comments on Thatcher’s legacy, mocking her successor, John Major: “You Thatcherites by name, lend an ear/ You Thatcherites by name, your faults I will proclaim”
Pink Floyd: The Fletcher Memorial Home (1983)
A surprising entry, in which Roger Waters envisions “The Fletcher Memorial Home for Incurable Tyrants and Kings” in this song from The Final Cut, naming Margaret Thatcher as one of the tyrants in residence.
Elvis Costello: Tramp the Dirt Down (1989)
Costello wishes the worst on Thatcher: “And when they finally lay you in the ground / I’ll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down.”
Hefner: The Day That Thatcher Dies (2000)
“We will laugh the day that Thatcher dies, even though it’s not right,” sings Darren Hayman. I hope he did.
Pete Wylie: The Day that Margaret Thatcher Dies (2011)
Not to be confused with the Hefner song of almost the same name, this party-rock tune revels in its hatred for the former PM: “She’s gone! And nobody cried!” Well, some idiots did.
Mogwai: George Square Thatcher Death Party (2011)
Instrumental, but who needs words with a title like that. This was namechecked in a BBC news report about an impromptu celebration, apparently sparked by the song, in the square in the centre of Glasgow.
Frank Turner: Thatcher Fucked the Kids (2006)
“Blame the folks who sold the future for the highest bid / That’s right, Thatcher fucked the kids.”
Madness: Blue-skinned Beast (1982)
“I heard you shout for yesterday, but I was sleeping on the job/ And I dreamt of fighters miles away whose lives I had to rob/ Have a drink on me/ I put it down to the company”