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"
Released November 19, 1976
Recorded December 1975
Length 5:26 (album version), 3:26 (single edit)
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.[1] The song was certified Gold by the RIAA on December 18, 1990,[2] and has also sold over 2 million downloads in the digital era.[not verified in body]


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 No. 51 there.[3] 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.[4]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1976-77) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 51
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 11

In popular culture[edit]

The song is played often on the season finale of The CW's Supernatural.[7] The song was used in the twenty-first episode of the first season, "Salvation"; starting from the second season, it has been played at the beginnings of every finale episode. It was also performed in a musical in the fifth episode of the tenth season, "Fan Fiction".[8][9]


  1. ^ "Kansas – Chart history". Billboard Hot 100 for Kansas. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "American Single certifications – Kansas – Carry On Wayward Son". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select ', then click SEARCH
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  5. ^ "Kansas: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  6. ^ "Kansas – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Kansas.
  7. ^ Knight, Nicholas, Supernatural Season 1 Companion p. 148, Titan Books Ltd ., 2007, ISBN 978-1845765354
  8. ^ "Carry On Wayward Son". 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  9. ^ "Carry on my wayward son - or a tale of two brothers (a Supernatural primer)". Shelf Inflicted. 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2016-10-11.