Classic Frank Sinatra Hit Has a Queer Backstory

Photo Credit: Spotify

Frank Sinatra’s penis is so big, when I was doing a line of coke off of it – I had to stop and think, “Is it a queer anthem?” – Thanks Jinkx Monsoon for that inspiration. 

A piece of revisionist news is making the rounds on the internet again. Frank Sinatra, arguably one of the greatest crooners of all time, is responsible for bringing a gay love song to life with his cover of “Fly Me to the Moon.” 

Originally titled “In Other Words,” the classic song was written by composer Bart Howard in 1954. The tune was eventually reworked by Frank Sinatra under its new title in 1964 and became one of the singer’s biggest hits. What few people have realized, though, is that its original composer, Howard, was a gay man.

Bart Howard was in a decades long relationship with Thomas Fowler. The pair remained together until Howard’s death in 2004. And with Fowler’s passing, the couple is interned together, bringing a lifelong and forever conclusion to their love story. 

The song was originally called In Other Words and it was composed in a 3/4 timescale. The first recording was by Kaye Ballard, and many people laid down a version before Frank Sinatra began singing the tune. Johnny Mathis, Nancy Wilson, and Eydie Gormé all recorded the song under its original title and with its slower paced delivery.

When Peggy Lee found success with the song in 1960, she convinced Howard to officially change the name to Fly Me to The Moon. In 1964 Sinatra laid down the tune as the opening track for his It Might as Well Be Swing record. The record saw him teaming up with Count Basie and his orchestra, and the songs for the album were arranged by Quincy Jones.

Jones reworked the song into a 4/4 timescale and transformed the song into a much more upbeat and proactive sounding delivery.  The song became synonymous with NASA”s Apollo missions to the moon, and the crew of Apollo 10 played the song on a cassette while they orbited the moon. – OutInPerth.com

It stands to reason that the romantic ballad was written by Howard while drawing inspiration from his lover, Fowler. It’s their love and admiration for each other that birthed one of the greatest classics in modern music history. 

And for the lyrics, you’ll notice that the love song is gender neutral with no gender pronouns present. 

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what’s spring is like
On a Jupiter and Mars
 
In other words
Hold my hand
In other words
Baby, kiss me
 
Fill my heart with song
And let me sing forever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and I adore
 
In other words
Please, be true
In other words
I love you
 
Fill my heart with song
Let me sing forever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
 
In other words
Please, be true
 
In other words
In other words
I love you

As the story goes, Sinatra, a New Jersey native, would go on to become an 11-time Grammy Award Winner. He is noted as one of the top selling singers of all time, with an estimated 150,000,000 units sold in the first three decades of his career. The crooner eventually passed away in May 1998 at ate 82 but is still celebrated to this day. 

What’s your take on this piece of music history? Does “Fly Me to the Moon” become an entry on gay Spotify lists just because its writer was part of the queer community? Or does the fact that Sinatra was a straight man singing it for a heterosexual woman override that narrative? 

Comment and let me know!

PS: Is Sinatra a daddy? Some of his pictures are hot for an older guy… 

Sources: Pink News, Out in Perth

12 thoughts on “Classic Frank Sinatra Hit Has a Queer Backstory”

  1. The gender neutral part is not exactly true. when they say “On a Jupiter and Mars” which are both male gods. Sort of give a hint of the intent of the song.

    Reply

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