HeadScratcher No. 88: Maternity Leave

Hill_lSo, what do Kate Bush,Lauryn Hill,Patti Smith,Britney Spears, andMoe Tucker have in common? Many of you guessed that this week’s theme was Mother’s Day. The answer: they all took extended leave from their music careers to raise their kids. Bush and Velvet Underground drummer Tucker took the longest leaves; both went 12 years between albums. (In Tucker’s case, after the Velvets split up, she dropped out of showbiz altogether, working at a Wal-Mart in Georgia while raising her five children, before reemerging as a solo artist in the 1980s.) Smith went nine years between albums in the ’80s. Spears, despite her ubiquity, hasn’t released an album of new material or toured in more than three years, a period that coincides with her starting a family. And Hill (pictured), despite a handful of reunion shows with the Fugees in 2005, hasn’t released a new CD since 2002; she, too, has spent most of the last decade being a mom.

Reader Aramis X. Ramirez noted that four of the five have recorded songs about motherhood. Hill sings to her child in "To Zion." Bush’s "This Woman’s Work," about an expectant mother, is on the soundtrack during the childbirth sequence in the movie She’s Having a Baby. Tucker addressed the topic in "Baby, Honey, Sweetie," and Smith sang to her own recently deceased mom in "Mother Rose." Spears confronted her mother issues, sorta, in the movie Crossroads, where Kim Cattrall played her mom.

The winners of this mother of all HeadScratchers are listed after the jump.

addCredit(“Lauryn Hill: James Bell / Retna UK.”)

Sarah Baker
Sarah Hewitt
Kerry Howell
John Nolan
Alexander J. Spearman
Tracy Turner
Patrick A. Yearout

Thanks for playing, everyone! Come back Friday for another HeadScratcher…

Comments (10 total) Add your comment
  • Anonymous

    um, how about Patti’s “The Jackson Song,” about her baby son? a little closer to your theme than a song about her mom, dontchathink?

  • Houstonian Jen in Balitmore

    *sigh* I die a little inside each time I that realize Lauryn Hill may never release another album. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” was the soundtrack to my freshman year in college. I was never the same, seriously.
    ZION!!!!

  • Houstonian Jen in Balitmore

    OH CRAP! I meant, “I die a little inside each time that I realize…” Nevermind, y’all know what I meant.

  • matthew

    I never get these HeadScratchers.
    Crap.

  • Anonymous

    What about Britney’s “Someday I Will Understand”? That was about motherhood.

  • aramis

    Woohoo! I rock! I love being mentioned on my favorite website ever! On those who have mentioned Lauryn Hill, I mean SERIOUSLY…the woman records one solo album and she’s done? WTF? That’s like Tom in “Bridget Jone’s Diary”….”Oh, yes, it was me. 9 years ago with no plans to record anything in the future.” LOL. I so hope that isn’t the case for the talented Mrs. Hill.

  • Fatima

    I would give a kidney for a new Lauryn Hill album

  • Joe C

    Matthew, I’m with ya dude; I don’t know why I keep reading these ‘Headscratchers’ I never know the answer. I mean, Patti Smith and Brit had something in common?!?!? Good one.

  • to Fatima

    is your last name Robinson??? I know u are a Beyonce fan (as I am) and then I read the choreographer for Dreamgirls was Fatima Robinson. hmmmm…..

  • Marie

    Isn’t “Someday I will understand” by Britney a song about motherhood ?

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