Exile-Jo and Laurie
This song is a duet and the parts work out perfectly for Laurie and Jo. Justin sings as Laurie, and Taylor sings as Jo.
“I can see you standing, honey, with his arms around your body”
After Laurie and Amy come home from Paris, Frederich shows up at the March house. Laurie immediately becomes defensive and standoffish, demanding to know who he is.
“And it took you five whole minutes to pack us up and leave me with it.”
After Jo rejected his proposal, she ran off to New York to be a writer. Laurie most likely viewed her leaving as her running away from him, which honestly most likely was a factor in her decision to leave. Losing yet another person was enough to drive her away completely.
“Holding all this love out here in the hall”
This line is pretty literal in terms of Laurie and Jo’s relationship. He is literally standing in the hall when he first meets Frederich. As he said during the proposal scene “You will [fall in love], it’s your way, you will and I’ll watch.” And he does watch; he watches from the hallway.
“You were my town, now I’m in exile seeing you out“
Laurie was in love with Jo. Sure, it was a juvenile, naive love, but he still felt like he loved her enough to marry her. Now, he watches from afar as she does the one thing she swore she’d never do.
“I can see you staring honey, like he’s just your understudy. Like you’d get your knuckles bloody for me.“
Now it’s Jo’s turn. She knows seeing her with Fred hurts Laurie, but he already hurt her. She knows Laurie sees Fred as not good enough for her, because he’s defensive and protective and some part of him still loves her. He always will.
“Second, third, and hundredth chances, balancing on breaking branches. Those eyes add insult to injury.”
Jo was about to give Laurie a second chance when she came back. She was going to marry him and out everything aside. Of course, this was probably directly in response to Beth’s death, which rattled her due to losing yet another person. She probably realized that the only way to make sure no one else left was to take Laurie back, but she most likely didn’t really understand that was why she did what she did. Unfortunately, Laurie comes back married, and then she’s walking on eggshells because of her strong feelings about him. The way he talks to her and acts loving toward her just makes it worse.
“I’m not your problem anymore, so who am I offending now?”
Jo realizes she has caused Laurie a lot of pain. She’s used to her temper causing issues in her life, but he always stayed with her. Now that she’s lost him, she wonders who she will hurt next.
“We always walked a very thin line”
Laurie and Jo were best friends, but as they got older, they walked a very thin line between brotherly/sisterly love and romantic love. Everyone thought they should have gotten married. Laurie crossed the line. Jo didn’t.
”You didn’t even hear me out (you didn’t even hear me out)“
For Laurie, this line means that he tried to “make you hear now and give me an answer” when he proposed. He thought they’d be good together because they were so close. For Jo, this line is different. She tried to make him hear her out in why they wouldn’t work. She wanted to be independent and she knew her stubborn, headstrong tendencies would ruin any marriage, and that would ruin their friendship.
“You never gave a warning sign (I gave so many signs)”
Laurie thought Jo loved him back, and was naive to the fact that she didn’t want to marry. Her reaction to Meg’s marriage should have been enough proof, but he was blind and believed she felt differently.
“All this time, I never learned to read your mind (never learned to read my mind) I couldn’t turn things around.”
I think that the complications of Jo and Laurie’s relationship would definitely be solved if they weren’t such opposites. If they had understood each other as they grew older and “read” each other’s minds, all the confusion never would have happened. When Jo came back from New York, she tried to turn things around, but in the end it was too late. Of course, all of this was for the better, and the two of them matured and stayed friends. Romance was not for them.
I think I’ve seen this film before, and I didn’t like the ending.