The Hogwarts Sorting Hat sings an original song at the start of each school year. The lyrics explain, for the benefit of new students, the characteristics of the school’s four houses and the way in which students are sorted into them. On occasion the Hat also includes comments or warnings which it deems pertinent to the coming school year.
Have you ever wondered what words of wisdom the Sorting Hat offered when the Deathly Hallows school year started, with Snape installed as Headmaster and the Carrows at the staff table? The following year, when Ginny, Luna, and Hermione returned to school with the Battle of Hogwarts freshly won, what did they hear the Hat sing? And what might it have caroled nineteen years later, as Harry’s younger son waited anxiously to be sorted?
August’s contest invites you to write the lyrics which you imagine the Sorting Hat might have composed for one of those three momentous years. Your song should be between 150 and 200 words long, and must not contradict any information given in the books. Please try to be true to the Sorting Hat’s character as it is portrayed in the books, and remember that, shrewd as it is, the Sorting Hat cannot see into the future. You may use the existing Sorting Hat songs as a guide, but may not directly copy verses or phrases from them. The official rules for this contest are listed below.
* Compose a song of 150 to 200 words in length which the Sorting Hat might have sung at the Opening Feast during the year of Deathly Hallows, OR the school year following Voldemort's final defeat, OR the year of the Epilogue.
* The Sorting Hat’s previous songs may be used as guides, but verses and phrases may not be directly copied.
* Your song must be consistent with the canon of the Harry Potter books.
* There is a strict PG-13 rating for the songs.
* Each contestant may enter one song.
* Each entry must be the original work of one contestant. You may ask someone to edit for spelling, punctuation, and grammar, but any help with the content of the entry is not allowed and will be deemed a collaboration, disqualifying your entry. (See our FAQ for further details).
* One grand prize winner, who will receive a wand, will be chosen from all the entries. Other winners, who will not receive a wand, will also be picked. All decisions by the judges are final.
* Anyone over the age of 13 can enter the contest, including staff members who are not involved in the judging process.
* All submissions must be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 24, 2008 at 11:59 pm (EDT) with "Sorting Hat Song" in the subject line of the e-mail. Please copy-paste the song into the body of the e-mail and include a name to be used for authorship (real name or Leaky Lounge name).
* Please refer to our FAQ* if you are not sure of something and our new tips and hints to create an even better entry for additional help.
* If you have any questions not answered on the FAQ, or would like to discuss this Contest, please come to the Contest Corner forum of the Leaky Lounge.
*Please note that our FAQ has new questions in it and has changed slightly. All changes apply to this contest and future ones.
UPDATE: The winners have been announced! Here they are:
Best of Show: Laura H
Climb up upon the stool,
Pull me down around your ears;
I'll reveal the new beginning
Of your magical careers.
And as you disperse to Houses
Where your new friends welcome you,
Keep in mind the world is looking
For a new beginning too.
For each House to play a part
In the rebuilding that's ahead,
You must all resist the follies
That have left so many dead.
Clever Ravenclaws: remember,
As your education starts,
All your knowledge comes to nothing
If you fail to use your hearts.
Faithful Hufflepuffs, take heed:
While it is noble to be true,
You must keep your eyes wide open;
Know the ones your loyal to.
Cunning Slytherins, be watchful:
Your ambition won't come free;
Those who claim the greatest power
Valiant Gryffindors: though battle
Has a time and place that's right,
There are times when even warriors
Make peace without a fight.
As you go to forge your futures
Please remember what has passed,
Or the peace your friends have fought for
Will not be a peace that lasts.
Work together, help each other,
Banish thoughts of laying blame;
Though your banners may be diff'rent,
Deep inside you're much the same.
Snape's Headmaster Year/DH year: godrics_gopher
Again, we’re gathered here beneath
This great, enchanted ceiling
There’s thunder, lightning, heavy rain
That none of us are feeling
My task this year, as years before,
Is choosing your rightful place
To help you conquer and endure
The tasks you’re soon to face
The Hogwarts founders, long ago,
Trusted me with this task
Though now I think it may’ve been
Somewhat unwise to ask
I fear this may be the last time
I can so frankly speak
For there are those among us all
That hope for our defeat
And so, before I sort you,
My other task is clear
To say the words that Dumbledore
And I feel you must hear
Ravenclaw have shown us
Any problem can be solved
While Slytherin has long defined
The advantage of resolve
Gryffindors know well that fear’s
Nothing to be afraid of
And Hufflepuffs know just as well
What true kindness is made of
A thousand years these houses stand
On these few strengths alone
But great minds and hats think alike
Weakness is what we’ve shown
The unity of our four houses
Hangs by just a tether
True greatness, power and victory
We only achieve together
Year After Final Battle: Willow Knox
With my patches and my tears,
I must be quite a sight,
But when it comes to sorting students
No hat could be more bright!
Our founders sought to teach the young
Good magical technique,
But though they shared a common goal,
Their values were unique.
In the past our four good founders
Taught their favorites with good grace,
And now I am in charge to find
Each student’s proper place.
Perhaps you'll go to Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave and daring;
Or make your way in Hufflepuff,
Hardworking, just and caring;
You might be fit for Slytherin,
Where cunning is admired;
Or find your home in Ravenclaw,
Where wisdom is inspired.
The feast begins as always,
With the sorting and good cheer,
Yet our memories are heavy
From the darkness of last year.
It is time for celebration,
Hogwarts has endured;
And though I still shall sort each year,
I may rest assured:
Our beloved school was tested,
But in that fateful hour,
We stood as one to triumph
Against that threatening power.
But I digress, and now too long
I've held you in suspense,
So step right up! It's time now for
The sorting to commence!
Epilogue Year: Kathleen Spero
At Hogwarts I was crafted
Many years ago
And through the ages I have seen
Great wizards come and go
Whether gifted with a clever mind
Courage, wit, or virtues
You must stay wary of your talents
And with which purpose they are used
While we glory in these days of peace
We all still must remember
The sacrifices that were made
For our world to continue to prosper
History can repeat itself
Without continued examination
So while you’re learning to use magic
Keep justice as your foundation
The pointless deaths of war will haunt
This hat for all existence
For I have seen too many lives
Be paid because of intolerance
Witch or wizard, muggle or squib
House-elf or centaur
The responsibility lies in all of us
To treat the lot as brother
And as I have said many times
And will say again
I sometimes do regret sorting
Separating those that might have been friends
Whether Gryffindor or Ravenclaw
Slytherin or Hufflepuff
You must stay united for what is right
This I cannot stress enough
And though I’m just a sorting hat
I have knowledge deep within
But you’ve all listened enough tonight
Let the sorting now begin!