By Amy Ryan
May 16, 2007 at 04:41 AM EDT

So, 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…