Lennon spent seven weeks in Bermuda in the summer of 1980. While there he wrote several songs and recorded demos of more, including ‘(Forgive Me) My Little Flower Princess’. His handwritten lyrics from the time are annotated “Fairylands July 1980”.
The song, like so many of the time, was written for Yoko Ono, and was an apology for hurting or offending her. Although it is unclear what inspired the sentiments, it is known that she flew to Bermuda to join Lennon for two days in June 1980, but returned to New York after finding the hot weather unbearable.
Lennon was reportedly disgusted by her unwillingness to remain by his side, and during a subsequent failure to communicate on the telephone he wrote ‘I’m Losing You’.
If he wrote ‘(Forgive Me) My Little Flower Princess’ after their disagreement, the lyrics – which speak of “my utter selfishness” and plead for another chance – show that Lennon was deeply affected at the possibility of losing Ono once again. He had asked for forgiveness in song before, most notably on 1971’s ‘Jealous Guy’ and 1973’s ‘Aisumasen (I’m Sorry)’.
Lennon recorded ‘(Forgive Me) My Little Flower Princess’ at the Hit Factory studio in New York, early on in the Double Fantasy sessions. The results were only ever intended to be a reference recording for future work, enabling Lennon to reevaluate the song at a later date. That chance never came, however, and the work-in-progress was released in 1984 after his death.