Carry On Wayward Son

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"Carry On Wayward Son"
Single by Kansas
from the album Leftoverture
B-side "Questions of My Childhood"
Released December 1976
Recorded December 1975
Length 5:26
Label Kirshner
Writer(s) Kerry Livgren
Producer(s) Jeff Glixman, Kansas
Kansas singles chronology
"It Takes a Woman's Love (To Make a Man)"
"Carry on Wayward Son"
"What's on My Mind"

"Carry On Wayward Son" is a single recorded by Kansas and written by Kerry Livgren for their 1976 album Leftoverture. In 1977, the song peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their first Top 40 hit.[citation needed]


The 7" single has been certified Gold by the RIAA. This version was a much shorter version of the song, edited down to 3:26, a version that was also the band's only single to chart in the UK, reaching number 51 there.[1] All initial releases of the single had a B-side of "Questions of My Childhood". The song was later re-released on all Kansas compilation albums (except for Works In Progress) and all Kansas live albums.

This song is 96th on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1976-77) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 11
Canadian RPM Top Singles 5
United Kingdom Singles Chart 51

Cover versions[edit]

Rock band The Showdown covered the song in their 2007 album, Temptation Come My Way.[3]

Christian rock band Stryper covered the song in their 2011 album, The Covering.[4]

Retch metal band The Scarlet Stingers covered the song on their album Tomorrow.

In 2012, The A.V. Club, a pop culture website, held its annual A.V. Undercover in which artists are invited to perform cover versions of reader-selected songs.[5] Gwar accepted the challenge and recorded a version of "Carry On Wayward Son" and released a video of it as well.[6] They also released a version on the European version of their album Battle Maximus.[citation needed]

Uses in popular culture[edit]

The song is played on almost every season finale of The CW‍ '​s Supernatural.[7] An acoustic version of the song is performed to celebrate the 200th episode of Supernatural which is available in iTunes, along with other songs from the episode.[citation needed]

In a 2015 TV commercial for Miller Lite, a man sings the first two lines while holding a Miller Lite bottle.[8][better source needed] A cover version appeared as playable track in Guitar Hero II while the mastered recording appeared in Guitar Hero Smash Hits.[citation needed]

The song is featured heavily in the South Park episode, "Guitar Queer-O".[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Chart Stats". Retrieved January 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  3. ^ Greg Prato. "Temptation Come My Way - The Showdown - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  4. ^ Eduardo Rivadavia. "The Covering - Stryper - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  5. ^ Graham 'Gruhamed' Hartmann (October 3, 2012). "GWAR Play Hilarious Cover of Kansas’ ‘Carry on My Wayward Son’". Loudwire. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  6. ^ Josh Modell (October 2, 2012). "GWAR covers Kansas". Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ Knight, Nicholas, Supernatural Season 1 Companion p. 148
  8. ^ Karaoke – Miller Lite. YouTube. May 26, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 

External links[edit]