Did I say today was Caccini's birthday? I meant burial day, in 1618. He published a book called Le nuove musiche (The New Music) in 1602, so that's the date that the Baroque started on. (I think it's July 12th at 4:20 in the afternoon). Anyway, if you have a book printed your repertoire gets looked at more by scholars and then gets thought of as the happenin' music of its time, though old Cosimo Bottegari didn't think he needed much in his gigbook.
Caccini and the other early Baroque composers were imitating the Ancient Greeks, who they knew declaimed their music in the rhythm of speech.
Here's the link to Hallie and me singing Caccini's greatest hit. Amarilli. The translation is:
Amarilli, my fair,
do you not believe you are my love, heart's desire?
Believe it and if doubt assails you,
take my arrow open my breast,
and you will find written on my heart:
Amarilli is my love.