Britney Spears' "3" Lyrics Deserve A Second Look, 5 Years Later

My, how time flies! Five years ago today, Britney Spears released her totally bizarre but totally awesome ode to threesomes, "3" — and the world is a better place for it. "3" served as the lead single from Spears' second greatest hits album, 2009's The Singles Collection, and it was a huge success — it even reached the coveted No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart! But once the initial shock of Spears singing about getting it on with two other people wore off, one thing about "3" became abundantly clear: The lyrics are absolutely ridiculous...and absolutely amazing.

For a song about having a ménage à trois, "3's" lyrics aren't all that sexy. In fact, they're actually pretty hilarious (...and occasionally terrifying). It's almost as if "3's" writers all sat down together and said, "Let's come up with the weirdest, most un-sexy ways to describe a threesome as possible. Then, let's have Britney sing those lyrics over a hot dance beat and call it day! Deal?" Oh, it was more than just a deal — it was history in the making.

So, on this, its fifth anniversary, let's take an unnecessarily close look at "3's" wonky lyrics and appreciate them for what they are: Pure pop music genius.

1st Verse

Babe, pick a night to come out and play

If it's alright, what do you say?

Apparently, Britney decides to casually broach the idea of having a threesome while getting ready to go out for the evening. She needs to get it on her Blackberry calendar, STAT (it was 2009, after all).

"Merrier the more" is without a doubt the most BONE-CHILLING thing I've ever heard in my entire life. It sounds like something that a possessed grandma from the 1800s might say. You know how possessed grandmas from the 1800s are always saying really scary things, right? Right.

Twister on the floor

What do you say?

The last time that I can remember playing Twister was at a childhood friend's birthday party. This kid fell over while trying to put his right hand on red and farted super loud and it really traumatized me. The smell, the embarrassment. Not sexy.

Pre-Chorus

Are you in?

Livin' in the sin is the new thing, yeah

Is "livin' in sin" the new thing? Hasn't it kind of always been a thing?

Are you in?

I am counting...

Chorus:

One, two, three

Not only you and me

Got 180 degrees and I'm caught in between

Being literally "caught" in between two people while having sex doesn't sound terribly appealing to me. ...Were genital piercings involved? Inquiring minds want to know!

Countin' one, two, three

Peter, Paul, and Mary

Well, I know that when it comes to threesomes, easy-going 1960s folk group Peter, Paul, and Mary is the first thing that comes to my mind! (Just kidding, it's not.) Yes, I realize that "Mary" kind of rhymes with "three," but it still doesn't make very much sense.

According to Urban Dictionary, "3P" is slang for a threesome. I get it, but mostly it just makes me think of office supply company 3M...and Britney making eyes at two tape dispensers while a stapler and a bunch of paper clips look on.

2nd Verse

Three is a charm

Two is not the same

I don't see the harm

So, are you game?

She has a point: I checked the math, and two is not the same as three.

Let's make a team

Make 'em say my name

Loving the extreme

Now, are you game?

"Extreme" is a word that I'm more comfortable associating with things like rock climbing, sky diving, and eating Slim Jims — but sex works, too, I guess. Just as long as everything's consensual and safe, of course.

Bridge:

What we do is innocent

Just for fun and nothing meant

If you don't like the company

Let's just do it you and me

You and me

Aw, that's sweet.

Wait...

Talk about a bait and switch! Britney's all, "It's cool if you don't want to have a threesome, we can just...HAVE A FOURSOME INSTEAD!!! Muahahahaha!"

The Princess of Pop is tricky, y'all.

Images: BritneySpearsVEVO/YouTube (5); Giphy (6)