Not a very known musician when compared to Cardoso, Lobo or Magalhães, Fr. Francisco de Santiago was born in Lisbon around 1578 and died in 1644. He was one of the many musicians that made their musical careers in Spain, most precisely in Seville Cathedral, one of the most important musical centres in Spain. Santiago is well represented in the first part of King John IV’s musical library catalogue. Several books of motets and especially villancicos are identified. That is the case of Ay como flecha la niña, that comes from the New World (where is was also well known), from Mexico Cathedral’s musical archives.
Ay como flecha la niña is written for two soloist voices (SA) with instrumental accompaniment. This is a good example of the Iberian changes in style of a sacred-vocal-polyphony educated musician, that was commissioned to write villancicos for the major feasts of the Liturgical calendar, which are clearly in a baroque perspective, yet, maintaining parts of the polyphonic tradition.