This pop standard was written by Johnny Richards and Carolyn Leigh. Originally an instrumental by Richards called "Moonbeam," it became "Young at Heart" when Leigh added the lyrics. Frank Sinatra, who had been absent from the pop charts for a few years, came back with a million-selling hit when he was the first to record the song in 1953. Three years after releasing it as a single, he would include it on his 1956 album This Is Sinatra!
Sinatra's friend and frequent arranger Nelson Riddle introduced him to the song. "Nelson told me he had a song that had been floating around Vine Street [Capitol Records] and other companies for weeks or months," he recalled in Frank Sinatra: An American Legend by Nancy Sinatra. "'I think it's a good song,' Nelson said, 'but nobody wants to do it.' I didn't even ask him if I could hear it. I just said let's do it, and it turned out to be 'Young at Heart.' We did a single, and it was a big hit."
The single was so successful on the (pre-Billboard Hot 100) pop charts that the film Sinatra was working on with Doris Day was renamed Young at Heart. The song plays during the opening and closing credits.
This was featured in several movies, including The Front (1976), starring Woody Allen and Zero Mostel; Sweet Dreams (1985), a Patsy Cline biopic starring Jessica Lange; It Could Happen to You (1994), starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda; and Space Cowboys (2000), with a cover by Willie Nelson.
Michael Buble recorded this for his 2013 album, To Be Loved. It's also been covered by Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Connie Francis, Jimmy Durante, and Perry Como, among others.