In the song named "Five Hundred Miles". There is a sentence. It sounds like "Lord, I can¡¯t go back home this away." Am I right? I am not sure if it should be "this away" or not, since I don't think "this away" means anything.
"Five Hundred Miles" is an old southern (US) folk song. "Lord, I can't go back home this a-way."
People from the rural South have a tendancy to add an "a-" before certain words:
"He went that a-way."
"That ol' truck needs a-fixin'."
"They all came by a-hootin' and a-hollerin' somethin' fierce!"
"Lord, I can't go back home this a-way." means: I can't go back home like this. Right?
Correct. I can't go back home in this condition (not a shirt on my back, not a penny to my name).
Another good example of this phenomenon is Bob Dylan's "...and the times they are a'changin'."
When someone asks you something like: "Which way did Paul go?" it's not uncommon to reply: "I think he went that a'way". As you say that you, indicate the direction with your hand.
Did this form originate from the American South or Britain? Where I live, this is only used in jest and in music.
It sure is, but interesting.....like life itself