How 'Carry on Wayward Son' became Supernatural's unofficial theme song
"I had a jukebox growing up in Ohio in my basement, like this old piece of s--- that played scratched singles that my dad found used somewhere," series creator Eric Kripke remembers. "One of the songs on it was 'Carry on Wayward Son' and I played it all the time through high school. The soundtrack of the show, certainly in those early years, when it was classic rock, those weren't just classic rock songs, those were the songs from my collection. At the end of season 1, we were cutting the first of the 'Road So Far' trailers. We wanted to do a recap to remind everyone what happened all season but we really wanted to do it in a way that wasn't the same old avalanche of exposition. [Producer] Phil [Sgriccia] and I looked at 'Carry on Wayward Son' and set it to this long recap and it just came to life because the lyrics seemed to fit what the brothers were going through."
However, there's one part of the story that fans don't talk about nearly as much. "What people don't remember is that in season 1, that was the second-to-last episode that 'Carry on Wayward Son' played," Kripke continues. "And then we tried to do another 'road so far' for the finale set to Triumph's 'Fight the Good Fight' and it was just obvious it just didn't take the way that 'Carry on Wayward Son' took. You could just tell from fan response that people were not digging it. I guess if they had dug that, the theme song could've been 'Fight the Good Fight' but everyone really responded to 'Carry on Wayward Son' so then next season we started the tradition of putting it on for the final episode."
15 seasons later, even Kansas digs it, most notably showing up at one of Supernatural's Comic-Con panels to play for the audience.
For fans, the song will always mark the end of a season, though, in just a few weeks, when fans hear the song one last time, they'll know it means they've arrived at the end of the series.
Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.