Tir na nOg ground their audacious romanticism in the timeless earthiness of the folk tradition. Cordell as a youth worked on the land, and agricultural imagery is prevalent in his compositions. O'Kelly does his bit to leaven the flower-power with earthy anecdotes of life on the road, peppered with jokes like 'at the hostel you had to make your own bed. I didn't mind, as I was a dab hand at carpentry'. In fact O'Kelly has a classic 'lived a bit' appearance and manner: both old hippy and garrulous Irish drinker. The combination of this sense of a full life lived ruggedly with the innocent aspirations of the songs and music is emotionally complex, fascinating, and for me winningly poignant.