This Song was sung at the 1996 Alternatives Conference following the death of Howie the Harp in 1995.

 

How We Love Howie

 

(To original music by Jeannie)

 

By Jeannie Matulis

         (All rights reserved)

 

Chorus:

How we love Howie! He gave us a song.

How we love Howie! He led us along.

How we love Howie! He dreamed us a dream.

And his dreamin’ grows greater and strong.

 

Verses:

His name was Howie the Harp,

And he earned his name on the street.

In exchange for a laugh and a hearty song,

He found a place to sleep and to eat,

He found a place to sleep and to eat.

(Repeat Chorus)

 

As a child, they put him in chains,

But they never captured his spirit.

With a song in his heart, he set his soul free;

He’d rather fight the system than fear it.

He’d rather fight the system than fear it.

(Repeat Chorus)

 

But he didn’t just think of himself,

He always remembered the others

Who were out on the street, or in a lock down;

We are all his sisters and brothers;

We are all his sisters and brothers.

(Repeat Chorus)

 

 

Jeannie Matulis–Locked up for two-and-a-half years as a teenager, she later found people like

herself–ex-inmates in California–and became an advocate at Mental Health Consumer Concerns,

Inc., a client-run patients’ rights organization. As a songwriter and musician, she sang protest songs

at many events. She later went to law school and after getting her law degree, worked for Protection

and Advocacy, Inc., a federally funded agency, for seven-and-a-half years. Her work has now

evolved into the field of forensic mental health. She wrote this song in memory of “Howie the Harp.”