About the song

If you are a fan of Frank Sinatra, you probably know his famous song “Fly Me to the Moon”. But do you know the history behind this classic tune? In this blog post, we will explore the origins and evolution of “Fly Me to the Moon”, from its humble beginnings as a cabaret ballad to its iconic status as a symbol of space exploration.

“Fly Me to the Moon” was originally titled “In Other Words” and was written in 1954 by Bart Howard, a composer and pianist who idolized Cole Porter. He wrote the song for his partner of 58 years, Thomas Fowler. Howard played the song at the Blue Angel cabaret venue in New York, where it was first performed by Felicia Sanders. The song was composed in 3/4 time signature, but was later changed to 4/4 by Quincy Jones in his arrangement for Sinatra.

The first commercial recording of the song was made by Kaye Ballard in 1954, released by Decca Records. Ballard’s version was titled “In Other Words” and was the flipside of “Lazy Afternoon”, a song from the musical The Golden Apple. Over the next few years, many jazz and cabaret singers recorded their own versions of “In Other Words”, including Chris Connor, Johnny Mathis, Portia Nelson, and Nancy Wilson.

In 1960, Peggy Lee recorded the song for her album Pretty Eyes, and performed it on The Ed Sullivan Show, giving it more exposure. Lee also convinced Howard to change the title of the song to “Fly Me to the Moon”, which became its official name in 1963. Connie Francis recorded two non-English versions of the song in 1963: one in Italian as “Portami Con Te” and one in Spanish as “Llévame a la Luna”.

The most famous and influential version of “Fly Me to the Moon” was recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1964, with the Count Basie Orchestra arranged by Quincy Jones. Sinatra’s version was featured on his album It Might as Well Be Swing, and became closely associated with NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon. A copy of the song was played on a cassette player on the Apollo 10 mission, which orbited the moon, and also on Apollo 11, before the first landing on the moon. Sinatra’s rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon” is considered a masterpiece of vocal jazz, and has been praised for its swing, phrasing, and emotion.

Since then, “Fly Me to the Moon” has become a jazz standard and has been covered by hundreds of artists from various genres and countries. Some notable examples are Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Astrud Gilberto, Westlife, Diana Krall, and Utada Hikaru. The song has also been featured in many movies, TV shows, and commercials, such as Once Around, Down with Love, Space Cowboys, The Simpsons, Sex and the City, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

“Fly Me to the Moon” is a timeless song that captures the romance and wonder of flying to the moon and beyond. It is a testament to the talent and vision of Bart Howard, who wrote it in 20 minutes, and to the charisma and artistry of Frank Sinatra, who made it immortal.

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Lyrics

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what 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 forevermore
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you
Fill my heart with song
Let me sing forevermore
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