Carry On Wayward Son

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"Carry On Wayward Son"
Carry On Wayward Son.jpg
Single by Kansas
from the album Leftoverture
B-side"Questions of My Childhood"
ReleasedNovember 19, 1976
RecordedDecember 1975
  • 5:26 (album version)
  • 3:26 (single edit)
Songwriter(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 US Billboard Hot 100, becoming their first top 20 entry in the nation.[3] The song was certified Gold by the RIAA on December 18, 1990.[4]


The 7-inch 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 No. 51 there.[5] 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.[6]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1976–77) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 51
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 11


In other media[edit]

"Carry On Wayward Son" is considered the unofficial theme song of the TV series Supernatural.[9] It is played during the recap before every season finale of Supernatural, with the exception of the first season, where it was played during the recap of the penultimate episode.[10]


  1. ^ "Top Of The Progs: Kansas - Carry On Wayward Son". Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Winistorfer, Andrew (January 5, 2009). "VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs list only slightly less annoying than their hip-hop list". VH1. Prefix Magazine. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  3. ^ "Kansas – Chart history". Billboard Hot 100 for Kansas. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  4. ^ "American single certifications – Kansas – Carry On Wayward Son". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  5. ^ "Official Charts Company". Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Kansas: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  8. ^ "Kansas Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  9. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (July 29, 2017). "How 'Supernatural' Pulled Off That Comic-Con Surprise With Kansas". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  10. ^ Krupa, Jessy (June 1, 2016). "Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 23 - "Alpha and Omega"". Pop Matters.