Country music singer Willie Nelson has written a song about a gay cowboy romance to coincide with hit film Brokeback Mountain’s visit to the Oscars.

The song, released on Valentines Day, is called Cowboys Are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other), it was originally written in 1981. It was played for the first time yesterday on US radio.

Mr Nelson, who recorded the track at his home in Texas, told the BBC: “The song’s been in the closet for 20 years. The timing’s right for it to come out.”.

The song is being exclusively released for download on the internet.

His manager David Anderson, who came out two years ago, said: “This song obviously has special meaning to me in more ways than one.”

“I want people to know more than anything – gay, straight, whatever – just how cool Willie is and … his way of thinking, his tolerance, everything about him.”

Mr Nelson also features on the soundtrack of Brokeback Mountain with the song He Was A Friend of Mine, which was written by Bob Dylan.