Is it the truth that Édith Giovanna Gassion was named after a World War I British nurse executed for helping French soldiers escape in the Second World War? We don't really know. These were troubled times and Edith later became entangled with the French Resistance and needed to defend her behavior. There seems to be a mixture of myth, fiction and fact surrounding the life of Edith Piaf.
Piaf was a stage name given to the troubled performer when she began performing 20 years later. Piaf was a french slang word for "sparrow". The name captured a sense of the singers frailty and nervousness. The truth about what made Édith Piaf's life so hard is unclear. We do know that she faced many challenges as a young girl. She grew up working on the streets with her father an acrobat performer who started out in theatre. When busking in the street Edith was "discovered". Her talent was developed and she lived on to International stardom. Her life was cut short by tragedy.