Ok, I'm so clueless I have no idea what this is called, or even where to begin to look for it. But if you can tell me what it's called, I'd appreciate it.
What is it called when you have a song that is written, say, to be sung by a man to a woman, but where a woman singer chooses to sing the song without altering the lyrics?
For example, I was looking through various vocal versions of the song "Peg Of My Heart." Almost all are sung by male singers, because that's the way the song was written. But I do have a version sung by female singer Joni James (probably from the 50s or 60s). And no, the lyrics are not changed, nor can they really be construed as being about "sisterly love," and I don't think it would be fair to say that there was anything lesbian about this particular version of the song. It was just generally accepted that a female singer could sing a love song like this to a woman. (Poetic license or something similar?)
Another example is "Tavern in the Town." This song is written to be sung by a woman, complaining to her male lover, who has left her for another woman, whom he meets regularly at this tavern. And almost all the versions of this song are sung by a woman to (in effect) a man. But there is one version from the 1950s sung by Wally Cox, again without changing the lyrics. This is just one of the most hilarious things I have ever heard, not only because of the way he sings it, but because now, in retrospect, we know that Cox was gay.
But at the time it was recorded it was not a "gay" song, but simply part of this "poetic license" for a male singer to take on a traditionally female singing role.
I know this is kind of a weird thing to be concerned about, but I am curious to know what this might be called.