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.