"Uneven Odds" as written by and Ryan O'neal....
I once knew your father well
He fought tears as he spoke of your mother's health
I guess a part of him just couldn’t return
Forgiveness is a lesson he cursed you to learn

As your guardian I was instructed well
To make sense of God’s love in these fires of hell
No I don’t expect you to understand
Just to live what little life your broken heart can

Maybe your light is a seed
And the darkness the dirt
In spite of the uneven odds
Beauty lifts from the earth
From the earth
From the earth

As the years move on these questions take shape
Are you getting stronger or is time shifting weight?
No one expects you to understand
Just to live what little life your mended heart can

You’ll always remember the moment God took her away
For the weight of the world was placed on your shoulders that day

Maybe your light is the seed
And the darkness the dirt
In spite of the uneven odds
Beauty lifts from the earth
From the earth

You’re much too young now
So I write these words down,
“Darkness exists to make light truly count.”

Lyrics submitted by mbhamilton

"Uneven Odds" as written by Ryan O'neal

Lyrics © Reach Music Publishing

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Uneven Odds song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationSo so beautiful, the lyrics are pretty straight forward actually but I'll give it a shot.

    It talks about the loss of a mother and the heavy impact it has on her family.(Mostly her child and husband.) The first verse suggests that this is not a natural death, rather an accident caused by someone else, who they must forgive. "Forgiveness is a lesson, he cursed you to learn." - A sometimes hard pill to swallow in life but it's the best way to move on.

    The second verse tries to console the little kid who really doesn't fully understand what is going on. It seems like this family is periled with other troubles as well so their faced with uneven odds. But the singer, presumably an angel or close friend wishes the child her well and tells her everything will be okay in spite of it all.

    By the third verse, our little girl is a getting a bit older (Teen years?) and the reality of what happened dawns on her. She notices the differences in school, at home, and everywhere else. So the questions arises, is she getting stronger? or Is time shifting weight? meaning it just becomes heavier and harder to bare.
    "No one expects you to understand." She'll never understand why her mother was taken from her, it is so unfair, Why does she have to be the one with just one parent? It's an awful feeling. Although her father tries, somethings only a mother can understand and help you through.

    "You'll always remember the moment God took her away." Wow! here's a kicker, this suggests the girl witnessed the accident or was at her mother's deathbed, just tragic!

    "Maybe your light is your seed
    And the darkness the dirt
    In spite of the uneven odds
    Beauty lives from the earth
    From the earth"
    This kind of ties the whole song together for me. It brings clearer meaning to the chorus suggesting the girl can take the pain and anger she feels inside and channel it towards profitable means. Her light is her seed and she can either grow out of the dirt and shine bright and be beautiful or wither and die in the darkness!

    "Darkness exists to make life truly count." This is a line we know all too well, just in different words. This means life for most people isn't a bed of roses, we will face pain, loss, struggles and setbacks, we can let this kill us or we can make our light our seed, and grow out of the darkness. We can find beauty in even the worst and most unfortunate situations.

    It really is a difficult thing to lose your mother. No one will love you like your mother will. I can totally relate to this because I lost my mother at a young age also. Great song!
    Psychomaniacon August 16, 2013   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningAs the Title of the song suggests, this song depicts the uneven/unfair odds of a young child navigating all the confusion, neglect, and darkness that follows when the child looses its parents.
    The mother dies likely of prolonged health problems that takes its emotional toll upon the father, who is lost to something more mysterious, as the opening line indicates "knew your father" (past tense) ...
    My interpretation is that the single father (widower) of a helpless child is hurt, angry and abusive toward the child. He "curses" the child and woes his own plight to the point that the child is left with fresh wounds from dad ... and no mother to help and no expectation that the child could possibly understand what is going on... according to the voice of the new caretaker ... the guardian.

    The song is a tender recital of hope and empathy ... a voice of understanding to help a child now in their care.

    Here are the lessons the song imparts to this "broken heart" as the child becomes a "mended heart":
    1) your father loved your mother but couldn't "return" from the grief of the loss of your mother
    2) forgive your father for when he was verbally abusive/neglectful
    3) As your guardian, foremost is my goal to nurture your pain with God's love.
    4) Trust that as unlikely as it may seem ... this truth is demonstrated as you live (what life you can in your broken state) the act of living slowly overcomes all that surrounds you that is not living, like a seed that is living overcomes the dirt that buries it over time.
    5) See as years go on? You are stronger. You are mended. See point 4.
    6) Growth is not forgetting the pain of losing your mother ... you will always remember that pain, but even all that darkness is not pointless. Its not designed as a blessing and we don't have to pretend that it is all fine ... Yet there is something "in it" for you, something to grasp in all this chaos that is redemptive and enriching: “Darkness exists to make light truly count”

    And so it goes ... the truth is not taught it is demonstrated. There is a reason that a jeweler displays their diamonds on the darkest velvet they can find ... and there is a reason that God permits what He could prevent. Would we notice the "light" / "life" if not for contrast against all this "dirt" / "earth" / "darkness" ?
    GraceHeadon August 22, 2013   Link

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