The Sirens originate from Greece and the name means 'to bind'.
According to Greek Origin, the Sirens had the body of a bird and the face of a women. They also had beautiful voices that could seduce any sailor. The Sirens were the daughters of the deity Achelous. The story of the Sirens say's that they challenged the Muses to a musical duel and unfortunately they lost. In losing this duel, the muses plucked out the wings of the Sirens and stripping them of their power of flight. Then from these feathers, the muses made themselves crowns to remind them of their victory.
After this event the Sirens were forced to live on the shorelines of the islands, Sirenum and scopuli. Here using their musical talents they lured sailers to there death.IN later legends, they are often transformed into mermaids who use their beautiful voices to lure mortals to them.
Sirens and the Argonauts:
The Argonauts (one of only two to get passed the sirens), escaped them because when their song was first heard, Orpheus immediately took out his lyre and sang a song so clear and ringing that it drowned the sound of those lovely fatal voices.
Sirens in the Odyssey
The only other people to get past the Sirens was when Odysseus came across the Sirens on his Fabled voyage. He told his sailors to stuff their ears with wax. He then tied himself to the mast for he wanted to hear their beautiful voices. As they approached the Sirens sang, their words even more enticing than the melody. In their words as they sang they said that they would give knowledge to every man who came to them, ripe wisdom and a quickening of the spirit. Odysseys' heart ran with longing but the ropes held him and the ship quickly sailed to safer waters (Odyssey XII, 39).
It is said that once the ship had passed the Sirens threw themselves to their deaths in failing to entice the sailors towards them.
Homer only mentions two sirens, but other authors mention three or four. Also according to text written by Ovid, in non-Homeric greek legend (later on) they were nymphs and the companians of Persephone. They were present when Persephone was abducted Hades and because they did not interfere, they were punished. Demeter had them changed into birds with female faces (Ovid V, 551).
Others say because of this they became escorts of the dead.
The number of Sirens varies depending on the source. Most say that there are two or more, and some names of particular sirens are given: Teles, Raidne, Molpe, Thelxiope, Parthenope, Lecosia, Ligia, and Aglaophonus.