Mermaids are everywhere! They are on signs, in movies and television, and especially in advertisements. One of the earliest mermaids I remember seeing everywhere as a child was the one on a tuna can. If you've ever eaten tuna you probably recognize the Chicken of the Sea mermaid. I hate the way tuna tastes, always have, but I always wanted to buy a can to have the pretty mermaid. Well, to be perfectly honest I wanted to be that pretty mermaid. I also remember wondering how she got her hair to do that bump.
Why Chicken of the Sea? According to the company "In the "old days," fishermen referred to the white albacore tuna as "chicken of the sea." It was called this because the white color and very mild flavor reminded them of chicken. The founder of the company thought this would be a unique name for a brand of tuna, and the Chicken of the Sea brand is now widely known in the Americas." They also developed a really cute jingle! "Ask any Mermaid You Happen to See... What's the Best Tuna? Chicken of the Sea!"
Back in the 50s Chicken of the Sea had a Pirate ship restaurant built in Disneyland. The Pirate Ship Restaurant served tuna sandwiches, tuna salad, and tuna burgers. The restaurant was known as Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship and alternately the Chicken of the Sea Restaurant. For more info about this ship go here http://www.davelandweb.com/chickenofthesea/
Unfortunately several years ago they changed the look of the mermaid and not for the better. She looks less attractive and is no longer a quirky mermaid, just one of the crowd.
A few years ago Jessica Simpson (who is either stupid or a genius) repopularized the brand on her show Newlyweds.
Say not the mermaid is a myth, I knew one once named Mrs. Smith. She stood while playing cards or knitting: Mermaids are not equipped for sitting.
'We shall see, while above us
The waves roar and whirl,
A ceiling of amber,
A pavement of pearl.
Singing, 'Here came a mortal,
But faithless was she:
And alone dwell for ever
The kings of the sea.'
Afred Lord Tennyson
I would be a mermaid fair; I would sing to myself the whole of the day; With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair; And still as I comb’d I would sing and say, “Who is it loves me? who loves not me?” I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall, Low adown, low adown, From under my starry sea-bud crown Low adown and around, And I should look like a fountain of gold Springing alone With a shrill inner sound, Over the throne In the midst of the hall; Till that great sea-snake under the sea From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps Would slowly trail himself sevenfold Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate With his large calm eyes for the love of me. And all the mermen under the sea Would feel their immortality Die in their hearts for the love of me.
The straightforward mermaid starts every sentence with “Look . . . ” This comes from being raised in a sea full of hooks. She wants to get points 1, 2, and 3 across, doesn’t want to disappear like a river into the ocean. When she’s feeling despairing, she goes to eddies at the mouth of the river and tries to comb the water apart with her fingers. The straightforward mermaid has already said to five sailors, “Look, I don’t think this is going to work,” before sinking like a sullen stone. She’s supposed to teach Rock Impersonation to the younger mermaids, but every beach field trip devolves into them trying to find shells to match their tail scales. They really love braiding. “Look,” says the straightforward mermaid. “Your high ponytails make you look like fountains, not rocks.” Sometimes she feels like a third gender—preferring primary colors to pastels, the radio to singing. At least she’s all mermaid: never gets tired of swimming, hates the thought of socks.
A word about the Images
Many of the images I've used on this blog have been found over years and years of looking at mermaids (plenty are my own though.) I've asked for permission for most but occasionally I don't remember the source. If you find an image here posted that you don't want up (due to your hard work scanning or drawing it) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You are watching live video of the "Ocean Voyager" exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Ga.