Socrates in Kansas

This Kansas song seems to me packed to the brim with Western literary and religious allusions, from Greek figures like Diogenes, Socrates, and Odysseus—accompanied by a Greek chorus!—to an obvious biblical allusion (the Prodigal Son). Oh, and notice Icarus in the third line, and even an Eastern religious allusion (to samsara) in the first two lines. Here’s the lyrics: 

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:

(Chorus)
Carry on our 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 around, I’m like a ship on the ocean,
I set a course for winds of fortune, but
I hear the voices say:

(Chorus)
Carry on our wayward son.
There’ll be peace when you are done.
Lay your weary head to rest.
Don’t you cry no more.

Carry on, you will always remember!
Carry on, none can equal this pleasure!
Now your life’s no longer empty!
Surely heaven waits for you!

(Chorus)

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Socrates in Kansas

  1. kseverny says:

    great lyrcis and good old heavy rock.

  2. andrewclunn says:

    I’m more of a Rush fan myself, but yeah I totally see the spiritual/religious allusions of this song. That’s some good guitar too 😀

    _+++_____________________________
    _+88______________________________
    _+880_____________________________
    _++88_____________________________
    _++88_____________________________
    __+880_________________________++_
    __+888________________________+88_
    __++880______________________+888_
    __++888_____+++88__________+++8__
    __++8888__+++8880++88____+++88__
    __+++8888+++8880++8888__++888___
    ___++888++8888+++888888++888____
    ___++88++8888++8888888++888______
    ___++++++888888888888888888______
    ____++++++88888888888888888______
    ____++++++++000888888888888______
    _____+++++++000088888888888______
    ______+++++++00088888888888______
    _______+++++++088888888888_______
    _______+++++++088888888888_______
    ________+++++++8888888888________
    ________+++++++0088888888________

  3. santitafarella says:

    Andrew:

    I’m sorry to be stupid, but what’s with the 8s? Is that a picture if I stand back from the computer? If so, I can’t see it.

    —Santi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s