3D claims that himself and Tricky both wrote the majority of the lyrics to Eurochild and Karmacoma while both high on drugs backstage at a music festival somewhere in England. Tricky also took some direct inspiration and borrowed (?) some of the lyrics from a song called “Blank Expression” by The Specials, who Tricky has publicly stated many times as being of one his most favourite and most influential bands. The borrowed lyrics in question are “I walk in a bar and immediately I sense danger. You look at me girl as if I was some kind of a, a total stranger”.
To help provide the music to hang the lyrics upon, Massive Attack enlisted the help of fellow Bristolians The Insects (who also did’nt mind working on a cover version of their own song), whom Massive Attack had befriended while working on Blue Lines at the Coach House Studio in Bristol, UK.
The figure on the front cover of the album Protection is named after the song Eurochild (or maybe the other way around. The Eurochild figure is meant to represent Europe (or the E.U.) and its different disparate elements attempting to come together to form a unified whole amid all the chaos and confusion.
Some of 3D’s lyrics that appear in Eurochild were first heard on Just A Matter Of Time. Examples of these lyrics include “Glow from the tv set was blue, just like neon activated the remote, and then i put the BBC on”.
Eurochild was played compulsively throughout each tour from 1995 – 1999, even though it went through a few variations over those few years. For the majority of the 1995 tour it was played similar to the way the album version is, with the only difference being Daddy G filling in for Tricky absence on vocals. Towards the end of the 1995 tour and into the entirety of the 1996 and 1997 tours the version played was the newly recorded Euro Zero Zero, which was a better fit for the new live orientated band approach Massive Attack were taking to their live shows at this time. Finally on the 1998/1999 tour, at the end of the live version of Eurochild, Angelo Bruschini, Massive Attack’s guitarist would play a rocking guitar solo that lasted about a minute that is the exact same as the one found on the midpoint of Dissolved Girl, perhaps making up for the fact that Dissolved Girl was excluded from the setlist for the entire 1998/1999 tour.
Since the 1999 tour, however Eurochild has failed to make the live setlist, making it’s last ever live appearance at the Palais Omnisports, Paris on the 9th September 1999.
Euro Zero Zero – This is an alternative version of Eurochild that was recorded specifically for inclusion on “The Beautiful Game”, a special compilation album to promote the FIFA Euro 1996 Cup. Original unheard demos for the track apparently included swirling chants and crowd noises, recorded by 3D on a trip to his father’s hometown of Naples San Paolo stadium. They were dropped from the final version because they were overwhelming the rest of the song. On “The Beautiful Game” release it was called Eurochild Ninety 6, but by the time the track reappeared on the Teardrop single release as a b-side it had undergone a name change to Euro Zero Zero. Despite the name change there is no difference between the songs.
The reason for re-recording Eurochild as Euro Zero Zero was a product of Massive Attack’s live shows throughout 1995 which had featured beefed up guitar output from Angelo Bruschini, which had influenced the way Massive Attack were playing Eurochild live turning it into a more moody experience with added vocals from Horace Andy. Both of these new elements would make their way onto the newly recorded version of Eurochild. For the first time, Massive’s augmented live act had dictated the way their records would sound.
Eurochild is essentially a cover version (with added lyrics by 3D and Tricky) of a song called “Cheetah” originally performed by fellow Bristol band The Insects. The Insects would also contribute on the production side of things for Eurochild and also Karmacoma.
3D on the meaning behind the lyrics of Eurochild – “We did a wicked version of Eurochild with fucking excellent grunge guitar” [Q Magazine – January 1999]
3D on the Eurochild figure and how it relates to the song Eurochild – “But he’s a whimsical character,” he smiles, “You can take him seriously or just look at him as a cartoon character, much like the track – just take it or leave it” [DJ Magazine – September 1994]
Sitting in my day care, the art is deco painted. Blessed by the drink. Upon the corner’s where we’ve seen it. Chased by the plaintiff. Haunted by the medium. Too high to flow toward to break the tedium. Glow from my tv set was blue like neon. Activated the remote I put the BBC on. I’ve seen this city somewhere. I’m looking out for no-one. Pallor in my eye it get blue like neon.
Hell is round the corner where I shelter. Isms and schisms we’re living on a skelter. If you believe I’ll deceive then common sense says shall you receive. Let me take you down the corridors of my life. And when you walk, do you walk to your preference. No need to answer till I take further evidence. I seem to need a reference to get residence. A reference to your preference to say I’m a good neighbour. I trudge so judge me for my labour. I walk in a bar and immediately I sense danger. You look at me, girl, as if I was some kind of a… a total stranger.
Hysterical, ecstatical no matter, call me stags(?) Hard to get a drink or a girl to relax. Upon phono, no go zone I go through. Aching awaits just to relocate you. Kill us with your fist. Now baby mix it with me. You see me function better when I get approximately. High by my technical flyby. I function better with the sun in my eyes. So goodbye
Take a second of me you beckon I’ll be. And when you’re sad I’ll mourn. And when you tear I’m torn. Take a second of me. Take a second of me. I stand firm for our soil. I lick a rock off foil. So reduce me, seduce me. Dress me up in stussy. Show me and I’ll stick em. Will you be my victim. Take a second of me
Mad over you, mad over me, an analogy. Baby tagging up up all of my stationary. Sitting in my daycare, media dego painted. Colliding with the jam. Until the drink got dated. Window indigo when they go boom. I run inside my room. No sense you can trust me. Climb on my sofa. Roll in a daydream. Spliff make daddy go sleep-a-trip dream