A Taiwanese writer Liau Han-sin (廖漢臣) wrote the lyrics of a children's song "Spring" (春天) and gave it to Teng Yu-hsien to ask him to compose for it, it's the earliest version of The Torment of a Flower. Although Teng is a Hakkan, he usually composed with Taiwanese Hokkien but not Hakkan. It is worth noting that some scholars have questioned this story about children's songs.
In 1934, Chou Tien-wang (周添旺) was working in a record company Taiwan Columbia (古倫美亞唱片), once he went to a nightclub and heard a sad story about a girl worked there. Chou was touched, he decide to rewrite the lyrics of Spring, wrote the story into Teng's music, that is The Torment of a Flower. It's the first work of Teng and Chou with each other. Especially, there was usually three part lyrics in a Taiwanese Hokkien songs then, but there was four parts in The Torment of a Flower.
The first part of the lyrics means: "Blossom in a stormy night, pelted to the ground by the rain and wind. All by my lonesome, no one sees my constant grief for the blossom falling into the dirt that has no hope of revival."
During the Second World War, the Japanese Imperial Warlord tampered the lyrics of the song and declared that the Taiwanese under their rule love Japan like the lyrics in the Japanese version of the song. This is a prt of the meanings in the Japanese version: "How excited the honorable Japanese soldiers who wear red ibbons." (紅色彩帶，榮譽軍伕，多麼興奮，日本男兒。)