The Sirens

In Greek mythology the Sirens were Naiads (sea nymphs) who lived on an island called Sirenum scopuli. According to some versions, they were playmates of young Persephone and were changed into the monsters of lore by Demeter for failing to intervene when Persephone was abducted (Ovid V, 551).
The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad result.

A Prairie Siren

In the original myth, Jason and the Argonauts encounter the Sirens on their quest for the golden fleece.
They are the heros of the story and the Sirens are villains. The Sirens lure sailors to their death with their beauty and their songs. But if you “mentally” walk around the scene, stand behind the Sirens, and look towards the Argonauts, Jason becomes a foreign invader determined to STEAL the golden fleece. The Sirens are defending their home turf.

This Siren is defending the golden prairie against a modern invader - home builders.

Inspired by JW Waterhouse's "A Siren" 1901
Oil on canvas 32 x 21 inches
(81 x 53 cm)
Private collection

O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note,
To drown me in thy sister’s flood of tears,
Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote;
Spread o’er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
And as a bed I’ll take them and there lie,
And in that glorious supposition think
He gains by death that hath such means to die;
Let Love, being light, be drowned if she sink!

-Comedy of Errors (Excerpt)

Return to indexNext story (Circe)