Music Friday: Styx Frontman Dennis DeYoung Seeks a Pot of Gold in the 1977 Power Ballad 'Come Sail Away'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Styx lead singer Dennis DeYoung searches for a pot of gold in the classic 1977 hit, "Come Sail Away."

An inspirational song about following one's dreams no matter how challenging the journey may be, "Come Sail Away" starts as a sweet ballad and then transitions into a powerful rock and roll anthem.

DeYoung sings, "We live happily forever so the story goes / But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold / But we'll try best that we can to carry on."

The lead singer revealed years later that he wrote the song to provide some inspiration to "carry on" during a down time in his life. Styx had achieved commercial success with 1973's "Lady," but then fell flat with its next two albums, Equinox (1975) and Crystal Ball (1976). He was hoping that "Come Sail Away" and the Grand Illusion album would turn their luck around. Up until that point, the band was an opening act, never the headliner.

Powered by the tremendous success of "Come Sail Away," Grand Illusion became the band's breakthrough album. It sold more than three million copies and set the stage for a run of four consecutive multi-platinum albums and 16 top-40 singles in the US. "Come Sail Away" charted at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and, 40 years later, is still one of the band's signature songs.

Formed in Chicago in 1972, Styx borrows its name from a mythological river that forms the boundary between Earth and the underworld. DeYoung revealed that after debating hundreds of options, the band members agreed on "Styx," because it was the only name no one in the group hated.

Styx continues to "carry on" with an active tour schedule that will see the band appearing over the next few months in Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and Ontario.

Please check out the video of Styx performing "Come Sail Away." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Come Sail Away"
Written by Dennis DeYoung. Performed by Styx.

I'm sailing away set an open course for the virgin sea
I've got to be free free to face the life that's ahead of me
On board I'm the captain so climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I'll try oh Lord I'll try to carry on

I look to the sea reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we'll try best that we can to carry on

A gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope and this is what they said
They said come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me

I thought that they were angels but to my surprise
They climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies
Singing, come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me

Credit: Image by Ralph Arvesen [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Howard Cohen