The mournful character of the chaconne tradition finds expression in Yo soy la locura
(‘I am the madness’), with words by an anonymous (presumably early seventeenth-century) Spanish poet. These were set by Henri de Bailly (d1637), a French composer, lutenist and singer, who worked first for Henri IV (until 1610 when the king was assassinated) and subsequently for Louis XIII, under whom De Bailly was closely involved with the elaborate court entertainments known as ballets de cour. The text of Yo soy la locura
has loose affinities with the multivalent sufferings of a host of paradigmatic figures, including Don Quixote, Hamlet (Quixote’s exact contemporary) and Purcell’s Dido, who exemplify one of the great paradoxes of western art—pleasurable melancholy, in which the representation of a character’s anguish becomes a source of aesthetic enjoyment. This provides the context for Yo soy la locura, where the personified ‘madness’, or melancholy, of the song’s title celebrates its own capacity to fill the world with ‘pleasure and sweetness’.
from notes by Paul Williamson © 2019