top of page
Carry On Wayward Son
Song

Carry On Wayward Son

Kansas
Album:
Leftoverture

Song meaning of Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas, and what it is about


"Carry On Wayward Son" is more than simply a song; it's a timeless classic that is an anthem of perseverance, reflection, and hope that has transcended its era.


Kerry Livgren, the guitarist and keyboardist for Kansas, wrote the song in a flash of inspiration. The band was battling the demands of popularity and the difficult challenge of building on their prior successes when it was written. The song has a depth that speaks to listeners on many levels since Livgren was incorporating pieces of his own spiritual and philosophical exploration journey into it.


It sets the tone for a story that is both universal and personal with an opening a cappella harmony that grabs the listener's attention right away. The song's lyrics discuss the state of humanity, the pursuit of purpose, and the difficulty of finding calm in the face of adversity.


"Carry On Wayward Son" is really a conversation with oneself. It's about facing one's past, owning up to faults, and accepting the path to self-awareness and atonement. In this context, the wayward son represents everyone who has ever felt aimless and burdened by their history but longs for a sense of direction and purpose.


The refrain of the song, "Carry on, my wayward son, there'll be peace when you are done," is a consolation and an exhortation to keep going. It implies that even if the way may be difficult, there can be peace in following one's path and, in the end, in reaching one's destination.


Lyrics of Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas


Carry on my wayward son

There'll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Don't you cry no more

 

Ah

 

Once I rose above the noise and confusion

Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion

I was soaring ever higher, but I flew too high

 

Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man

Though my mind could think I still was a mad man

I hear the voices when I'm dreaming

I can hear them say

 

Carry on my wayward son

There'll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Don't you cry no more

 

Masquerading as a man with a reason

My charade is the event of the season

And if I claim to be a wise man

Well, it surely means that I don't know

 

On a stormy sea of moving emotion

Tossed about, I'm like a ship on the ocean

I set a course for winds of fortune

But I hear the voices say

 

Carry on my wayward son

There'll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Don't you cry no more no!

 

Carry on

You will always remember

Carry on

Nothing equals the splendor

Now your life's no longer empty

Surely heaven waits for you

 

Carry on my wayward son

There'll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Don't you cry

Don't you cry no more

 

No more!

Release Date

1976

Songwriter/s

Kerry Livgren

Producer/s

Jeff Glixman, Kansas

Label/s

Kirshner

Other Songs

bottom of page