Music Lovers and Europhiles: Pomp and Underpants

Jolly olde England is the fifth stop on our grand tour of Rick Steves’ Europe: A Symphonic Journey, my new hour-long special that debuts on public television this month. Romantic music provided a soundtrack for the Victorian Age, back in the days when the sun never set upon the British Empire. And, while Edward Elgar’s most famous work is more associated these days with American graduation ceremonies, its celebration of “Pomp and Circumstance” feels distinctly English.

Re-watching this clip, I remember the fun challenge of introducing each of these great works of patriotic music. I had to give each piece some historical and cultural context — just as all of our tour guides at Rick Steves’ Europe endeavor to prepare our tour members to find both meaning and joy in new cultural experiences.

Enjoy this stirring little musical trip to England. If you like it, share it with your friends — and find out when the full one-hour special airs on your local public television station.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.