Co-written in 1984 by guitarist and founder member Bobby Bluebell (real name Robert Hodgens) and his then-girlfriend Siobhan Fahey, it was first recorded by Fahey with the girl group Bananarama and appeared on their debut album Deep Sea Skiving. The Bluebells version is very different to the original in that the melody is significantly altered and has a completely new chorus. This went on to become a UK top 10 chart success on two occasions, first reaching number 8 in the UK Singles Chart on its original release in 1984. Almost a decade later, after The Bluebells had disbanded, the song was re-released as a single in 1993 after being featured in a TV advert on British television for the Volkswagen Golf. It became a number one hit for four weeks, leading to the band reforming temporarily to perform the song on BBC Television's Top of the Pops, when they sent up the unexpected re-release by parodying various other famous acts of the time such as Shabba Ranks and 2 Unlimited.
In 2002 session musician Bobby Valentino, who performed the violin solo on The Bluebells version of "Young at Heart", won the right to be recognised as co-author of the song after taking legal action.