Carry On: The inspiration behind the song “Shoulders”

I get emotional pretty easily. I blame my dad, and for all the best reasons. He is both strict, and a sweet heart. A hard ass and a total softy. My dad is a coach, and I was pretty much raised in a gym. Scars on my shins and back reflect the hours upon hours that I played under the bleachers. With my brother and the other young kids, we would run around the gym while my dad coached basketball to middle and high school teams, (most of which ended up Maui champions at one season or another). Stories of sports glory, movies of underdog teams with hearts of gold who overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams– those are the ones that tug at my heart strings. I cry watching championships, I tear up at sports commercials, I celebrate with those who have won in some way, maybe not taking the gold, but all things considered, they know in their hearts, they have WON.

A couple years ago, I watched an ESPN “SC Feature” (kind of like ESPN’s 30 for 30 series) called “Carry On”. You may have seen it, it took place in a town near Cleveland Ohio and follows two friends Leroy and Dartanyan. When Leroy was a child walking to school one day, his backpack was caught on a slow moving freight train and pulled his legs under, crushing them. He became a double amputee. Dartanyan, a strapping athlete, has a condition which is slowly causing blindness.  They found strength and camaraderie in each other, and in the sport of wrestling at their high school. Their brotherhood was undeniable, and their strive to persevere despite their conditions was beyond inspirational. Dartanyan would literally pick up Leroy and carry him around school, on and off the mat, from his wheel chair and into the bleachers… The blind boy was carrying around the boy with no legs, and the boy with no legs was leading the boy who couldn’t see. It was such an inspiring story to me, that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days.

After hearing a sweet little guitar groove sent to me by my bass player Jason, I felt the tingle of inspiration to write a song.  As words and melodies started blurting out of my mouth, thoughts of the story of Leroy and Dartanyan kept creeping through. “You can close your eyes, and put your hands on my shoulders.” “Carry on with your day to days, you got a friend in me so keep being amaze”. “I will have your back no matter what.”

I had wanted to write a song about FRIENDSHIP for awhile. Something light hearted and fun, but also just expressing without a doubt that I have your back no matter WHAT. Even if you lose your legs, even if you go blind, even if you’re WRONG, I won’t give up on you. I will have your back no matter what.

Put all this together, and you get the story behind “Shoulders”. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Share it with your friends and tell them how much they mean to you!

Aloha always,




PS: Here’s the lyrics of the song



Written by Anuhea Jenkins

Music by Jason Tupuola Aiono

Acoustic Guitar: Anuhea Jenkins

All Production: Rob Tsuhako

Verse 1:

This world is crazy, that’s for sure

We all need a place just to feel secure

I want to give you open arms to run ….. I’ll do

Everything I can cause I do know what’s up

I’ll be on your side no matter what


When all the seats are taken

You can sit with me

The team’s all full, well

We can start our own league

Cause I know you would do it for me

You can close your eyes…

And put your hands

On my shoulders

Verse 2: 

I would pour half my cup right into yours

Give you my slipper when we’re cruising outdoors

I’ll pay your tab if you forgot

Drive you home if you cannot

I’ll brighten up your darkest night

Fight for you when you’re not right

I will have your back no matter what


Rap/ Verse 3

Every day.. I feel I feel you deep, our vibes are more alive

In every way… you’re my best friend all my tomorrow’s are yours so

Carry on with your day to days, you got a friend in me so keep being amaze

I’ll be right here from now until we’re older

Shush relax and put your hands on my shoulders

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