King Crimson's song "I talk to the wind" starts with:

Said the straight man to the late man

Where have you been?

I'm pretty sure that the songwriter is creating a contrast (e.g., an antithesis) between straight and late, but I don't know what that could be... my first hunch was that straight could mean punctual, but I did a quick research and that doesn't seem to be the case.

Is there any contrast here between straight and late?

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    A "straight man" is the one in a comedy duo who asks the apparently-nonhumorous questions which are subsequently made humorous by the straight man's partner.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 12:01

1 Answer 1


The assonance or rhyming has poetic force. Contrast - if any was intended (I cannot say for sure) - may lie in the straightness of the man who is straight and unmoved by the wind compared to the lateness of the man who has been travelling, perhaps blown by the wind.

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