The death of Margaret Thatcher (April 2003) was celebrated by some, enough so that it spawned a campaign to push onto the UK music download charts the 1939 song “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead.” It narrowly missed, during the week of April 14, the #1 slot by only 5000 downloads. That’s quite a feat for a 51 second song, coming of course from the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” I think that campaign is hysterical.
So all that brought back to mind one of the reasons for the hatred of many, Clause 28, also known as Section 28. It was passed under Thatcher’s rule and it vaguely outlawed the promotion of homosexuality, and I use the word ‘vaguely’ as it led to a lot of controversy. It meant schools could not discuss it and homosexuality was officially frowned on. The law was finally overturned in Scotland in 2000 and in the rest of Great Britain in 2003. It was quite complex and Wikipedia gives a long telling of it for those who want to dig deeper.As this is a music blog I’m sharing how the law was dealt with, mostly right after it was passed, with by far the most famous treatment by Boy George, and “No Clause 28,” from 1988.
And you can find lots of remixes of the song to check out on YouTube. In 1989 the extremely gay-supportive UK band Chumbawamba did some tubthumping (jumped on the bandwagon) with their track “Smash Clause 28.”
I do not usually portray the “opposing viewpoint,” but I did find an anti-gay song by a UK punk band named Legion of St Georending the law. The law was in the news at that time, overturned the next year.
And, I was kind of surprised to find a fairly new song mentioning Section 28, by UK singer Grace Petrie, from her 2010 CD “Tell Me a Story.” She does so right off the bat in her song “Farewell to Welfare.” Check out her website.