The Sorting Hat

 

The Sorting Hat is the hat that decides which of the 4 houses you will be placed in at Hogwarts. It welcomes the new first years by singing. The school song changes every single year, as to welcome every new year in an individualistic way. When Harry first started Hogwarts, this was the song that welcomed him:

 

Oh you may not think Iím pretty,

But donít 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 Iím the Hogwarts Sorting Hat

And I can cap them all.

Thereís nothing hidden in your head

The Sorting Hat canít 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 there are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true

And unafraid of toil;

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

If youíve a ready mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind;

Or perhaps in Slytherin

Youíll make your real friends,

Those cunning folk use any means

To achieve their ends.

So put me on! Donít be afraid!

And donít get me in a flap!

Youíre in safe hands (Though I have none)

For Iím a thinking cap!

 

Other songs include:

 

A thousand years or more ago,

When I was newly sown,

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 favourites 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 you where you belong!

 

and:

 

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 they such friends anywhere

As Slterin 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 and so can tell

The whole sad, sorry tale.

Said Slytherin, "We'll teach just those

Whose ancestry is 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 lie 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

Retained 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 house 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 duelling 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 condemmed I am to spilt you

Still I wonder that it's wrong,

Though I must fulfil 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.

 

The Sorting Hat chooses the students because of a very special reason. The hat originally was Godric Gryffindor's hat and was chosen when times were good between the four founders of Hogwarts. They all decided that they needed a way for the students to be sorted into houses after they had all passed away. To do this they all put parts of their brains with their own qualities into the hat. The hat then for years and years to come would be able to put the student into the house in which they reflected mostly in character to one of the four founding members. The Sorting Hat however gives out warnings in dire times and uses itself to bring the houses together in unity.