The Sorting Hat's Songs

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Every year, the Sorting Hat sings a new song before the Feast begins. For varying reasons, Harry Potter missed the sorting in his second, third and sixth years, and did not attend Hogwarts whatsoever in his seventh. He attended the ceremony, however, in his first (PS7), fourth (GF12) and fifth (OP11) years.


Oh you may not think me pretty, 
But don't judge on what you see, 
I'll eat myself if you can find 
A smarter hat than me. 
You can keep your bowlers black, 
Your top hats sleek and tall, 
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat 
And I can cap them all. 
There's nothing hidden in your head 
The Sorting Hat can't see, 
So try me on and I will tell you 
Where you ought to be.

You might belong in Gryffindor, 
Where dwell the brave at heart, 
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry 
Set Gryffindors apart; 
You might belong in Hufflepuff, 
Where they are just and loyal, 
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true 
And unafraid of toil; 
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, 
if you've a ready mind, 
Where those of wit and learning, 
Will always find their kind; 
Or perhaps in Slytherin 
You'll make your real friends, 
Those cunning folks use any means 
To achieve their ends. 

So put me on! Don't be afraid! 
And don't get in a flap! 
You're in safe hands (though I have none) 
For I'm a Thinking Cap!


A thousand years or more ago 
when I was newly sewn, 
there lived four wizards of renown, 
whose names are still well known: 
bold Gryffindor, from wild moor, 
fair Ravenclaw, from glen, 
sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad, 
shrewd Slytherin, from fen. 
They shared a wish, a hope, a dream, 
they hatched a daring plan 
to educate young sorcerers 
thus Hogwarts School began. 
Now each of these four founders 
formed their own house, for each 
did value different virtues 
in the ones they had to teach. 
By Gryffindor, the bravest were 
Prized far beyond the rest; 
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest 
would always be the best; 
For Hufflepuff, hard workers were 
Most worthy of admission; 
And power-hungry Slytherin 
loved those of great ambition. 
While still alive they did divide 
Their favorites from the throng, 
Yet how to pick the worthy ones 
When they were dead and gone? 

'Twas Gryffindor who found the way, 
He whipped me off his head 
The founders put some brains in me 
So I could choose instead! 
Now slip me snug about your ears, 
I've never yet been wrong, 
I'll have a look inside your mind 
And tell where you belong!


In times of old, when I was new, 
And Hogwarts barely started, 
The founders of our noble school 
Thought never to be parted. 
United by a common goal, 
They had the selfsame yearning 
To make the world's best magic school 
And pass along their learning. 
"Together we will build and teach" 
The four good friends decided. 
And never did they dream that they 
Might some day be divided. 
For were there such friends anywhere 
As Slytherin and Gryffindor? 
Unless it was the second pair 
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, 
So how could it have gone so wrong? 
How could such friendships fail? 
Why, I was there, so I can tell 
The whole sad, sorry tale. 
Said Slytherin, "We'll teach just those 
Whose ancestry's purest." 
Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose 
Intelligence is surest" 
Said Gryffindor, "We'll teach all those 
With brave deeds to their name." 
Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot 
And treat them just the same." 
These differences caused little strife 
When first they came to light. 
For each of the four founders had 
A house in which they might 
Take only those they wanted, so, 
For instance, Slytherin 
Took only pure-blood wizards 
Of great cunning just like him. 
And only those of sharpest mind 
Were taught by Ravenclaw 
While the bravest and the boldest 
Went to daring Gryffindor. 
Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest 
and taught them all she knew, 
Thus, the houses and their founders 
Maintained friendships firm and true. 

So Hogwarts worked in harmony 
for several happy years, 
but then discord crept among us 
feeding on our faults and fears. 

The Houses that, like pillars four 
had once held up our school 
now turned upon each other and 
divided, sought to rule. 
And for a while it seemed the school 
must meet an early end. 
what with dueling and with fighting 
and the clash of friend on friend. 
And at last there came a morning 
when old Slytherin departed 
and though the fighting then died out 
he left us quite downhearted. 
And never since the founders four 
were whittled down to three 
have the Houses been united 
as they once were meant to be. 

And now the Sorting Hat is here 
and you all know the score: 
I sort you into Houses 
because that is what I'm for. 
But this year I'll go further, 
listen closely to my song: 
though condemned I am to split you 
still I worry that it's wrong, 
though I must fulfill my duty 
and must quarter every year 
still I wonder whether sorting 
may not bring the end I fear. 
Oh, know the perils, read the signs, 
the warning history shows, 
for our Hogwarts is in danger 
from external, deadly foes 
and we must unite inside her 
or we'll crumble from within 
I have told you, I have warned you... 
let the Sorting now begin.

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