The Trouble With Hogwarts

The Trouble With Hogwarts

robotkitten's picture


Liner Notes: 

I happened to hear about a Harry Potter-themed open mic, and I realized that I had somehow never written Harry Potter filk. So I dashed this off in a few hours and had it ready just in time to perform.

I still have a lot of nostalgia for Harry Potter, but these days I look at it, and Rowling's worldbuilding, with a much more skeptical eye. And really, Hogwarts is kind of a terrible school. (Related reading:

This is meant to be sung to the tune of "A Habitrail Named Klein":


I’m sure I’m not the only kid who used to fantasize
That I’d receive a Hogwarts letter
So maybe it’s sour grapes, but I have come to realize
Some ways that Hogwarts could do better
Though Hogwarts teaches spells and charms and that sounds awfully cool
Objectively it has some massive problems as a school

Oh, Hogwarts, oh Hogwarts, I’m sorely afraid
As an institution you don’t make the grade
You once were my dream school, but sadly it’s true
That now I’ve become disenchanted with you

Sure, Hogwarts teaches students to brew potions and make fire
And cast spells of transfiguration
But magic’s not the only subject children will require
For a well-rounded education
They’re missing basic subjects on their academic slate
Without which any other school won’t let you graduate

Their students don’t learn physics concepts like the speed of light
Or how to solve a math equation
Their teachers give them essays but they don’t learn how to write
Which surely causes much frustration
They don’t learn Muggle history, and let’s not even start
On their complete deprival of electives in the arts

I haven’t even started on the dangers that arise
When Hogwarts educates young wizards
The students brew up poisons and grow plants with deadly cries
Amongst a dozen other hazards
So even when the Dark Lord doesn’t happen to appear
Imagine what the body count must be like every year

The castle’s in a secret place outsiders cannot find
From Muggle eyes it’s well-protected
And that’s convenient since they’d be in something of a bind
If Ofsted ever once inspected
But since the school is hidden where inspectors can’t observe
They’ve dodged the closer scrutiny that surely they deserve

Sure, Hogwarts must have seemed like an amazing paradise
To wide-eyed kids like Harry Potter
But later on in life they may begin to realize
There’s cause to curse their alma mater
Let’s hold it to the standards any other school must meet
So future wizards find their educations more complete

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


mike skliar's picture

fun idea. Not your ideal audience here, I'm afraid, as I've never read any Harry Potter (saw the first movie years ago, i think, but haven't seen any more) so all of the references are lost on me, beyond the basic idea that its a school for wizards or something.... nicely done tho! -- and yes, tho kind of unintentional as you posted, it fits the 'school challenge'! thanks for posting on that thread!

Ha! If you look at it that way, Hogwarts in pretty terrible. It's dangerous and literally teaches you nothing outside of the the tiny bubble that is the magic world. Too bad. Were I a witch, I want to know how to live in the muggle world just as much as the wizarding world. Good lyrics. I like the theme.

phoenixash's picture

Well this is a topic to be discussed by the fandom. I agree and disagree and actually this makes the lyrics funny and interesting. Very good one.