Carry On, My Wayward Son

Words & Music:

Kerry Livgren (Kansas)


This is fully transcribed in the February 2009 issue of Guitar World.



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!


Opening Riff:  [2x]








Am     G              F         G

Once I rose above the noise and confusion

Am      G             F           G

Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion.

Dm    C            Bb        Bb C   Dm    C        G

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.

Dm         C               Bb        Dm    C         G

I hear the voices when I'm dreaming; I can hear them say:



 Am    C      G             Am          C          G

"Carry on, my wayward son.  There'll be peace when you are done.

Am       C     G             Am

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, 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 sail for winds of fortune, but I hear the voices say:





Am [stop chord]     C        G

Carry on!  You will always remember.

Am [stop chord]    C          G

Carry on!  Nothing equals the splendor.

Dm       C                Bb  C
Dm     C                G

Now your life's no longer empty; surely Heaven waits for you.




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