Local German variant of the ancient myth of the Sirens, based on a very specific geographical location, a high, steep slate rock on the bank of the River Rhine at Sankt Goarshausen in Germany.
Clemens Brentano's 1801 ballad "Zu Bacharach am Rheine" tells the story of a sorceress accused of seducing men with witchcraft. Sentenced by the local bishop to a nunnery, she comes to Lorelei rock on the way there. She climbs it, and thinking that she sees her love in the Rhine, jumps to her death.
Heinrich Heine's 1824 poem, "Die Lore-Ley," based on Brentano's theme, attributes her man-attracting abilities to singing, rather than just witchcraft. She sits on the cliff above the Rhine, singing and combing her hair, unwittingly causing sailors to crash on the rocks. Heine's lyrics were set to music by Friedrich Silcher in 1837. Famous composer Franz Liszt also composed music for it in 1841.