The mythical Sirens have long been depicted as tantalizing, seductive, banes to the existence of accursed sailors, enchanted by their fatal song. The Greeks had them as winged maidens, but somewhere along the way, the meaning shifted: in most European languages, the word Siren translates as “mermaid”. You’re listening to the Green Brothers Novelty band with “Siren of the South Sea”.
If the smell of fresh-brewed coffee renders you helpless, you may have run into Melusina today. Starbucks has used the half-woman, half water-serpent’s likeness since 1971, based on a Norse woodcut. Why the nautical theme? Starbuck was the name of Captain Ahab’s first mate in Moby Dick.
Here’s a great site about mermaids, sirens and the bunch.