Hilary Pyle (loc. cit) comments on the present work: 'A scene on a bog, with a tinkers' shelter in the mid-distance and some figures to each side of it. In the foreground an old man with a musical instrument, a little girl and a boy with golden hair, sing with their eyes lowered, in the traditional style. Their isolated forms are linked with those in the distance through the outline they form together on the moorland, beneath the quiet sky'.
This work relates to the celebratory canvas Singing the Dark Rosaleen, Croke Park (private collection) from 1921, the year of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The present work was painted in 1949, the year Ireland became a Republic, when the artist was 78 years of age. Yeats had now been a governor of the National Gallery of Ireland for ten years, had been given a major exhibition in Dublin in 1945, a major retrospective at the Tate Gallery in London in 1948, and felt completely accepted as an Irishman ready to sing one of his national songs, My Dark Rosaleen. This is a traditional nationalist song, addressing Ireland in the guise of a lover, under the pseudonym of 'the little black rose'.