On this album, the lyrics generally take a backseat to the music and the jamming. It is one of the most popular Funkadelic albums among fans, and considered an essential Eddie Hazel-album. Hazel co-wrote all of the album's songs, and on six of those songs the songwriting credit was in the name of Grace Cook, Hazel's mother (a gambit by Hazel to avoid contractual difficulties with the publishing rights). This is a much more cohesive album than the previous Funkadelic forays; it sticks with a musical style (hard-edged funk) throughout, instead of veering through genres.
The song begins with a spoken word intro that seems to be describing a woman who has the effect of rendering a person unFunky (see P Funk mythology). This intro first appeared in the Funkadelic song "America Eats Its Young", but in this song is played sped up, then slowed down. The second section is sung and includes the second quote above as the refrain. It is not clear whether the first woman is the same as the "Red Hot Mama" from the second section. It is said that Eddie Hazel was asked to play the solo like Jimi Hendrix.
The guitar solo and jam that conclude this song were continued in the studio, and ended up as a B-side titled "Vital Juices," featuring outstanding guitar work by Eddie Hazel and Ron Bykowski. That track is found on Westbound compilation CD Music For Your Mother: Funkadelic 45s, as well as the recent CD reissue of the original album
Birthed during Funkadelic concerts as far back as 1971, this song was originally an instrumental jam that was regularly improvised on stage. An early, much longer, and then-untitled instrumental version can be found on the 1996 live release Live: Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan – 12 September 1971. The version on Standing on the Verge of Getting It On features the same bassline and guitar riffs from Eddie Hazel (often borrowing from Jimi Hendrix's "Izabella"), plus new vocals by George Clinton, and minus the psychedelic keyboard section by Bernie Worrell.
A rare outtake version of the song (circulating around the internet under the album name "The Ultimate Turd") continues where the glaring fade-out occurs on the album; in the outtake version the band continues to jam for an extra 30 to 40 seconds before suddenly stopping.
Alice is apparently trying to seduce the singer, but he is apparently unwilling to sleep with her. No reason is explicitly given, but it can be inferred that he is unwilling because she will demand a commitment ("The freak said I would even owe her my devotion"). Therefore, the titular "Alice" who exists only "in (the singer's) fantasies" may be an Alice who does not demand the commitment.
The singer of this song proclaims that he will wait for his former lover, whose "head went out to play." He will wait for her even though his friends make fun of him.
This song pokes fun at a gay friend of the band. However it also includes many jokes and puns about fellatio ("So why frown? Even the sun go down!") and it is not clear whether these are also aimed at Jimmy.
This is a song of self-empowerment, and of mystical achievement. The quote above is perhaps the best summary of the song as it explains first that the acorn contains within it an oak (an adult acorn), and so on for Giant Sequoias and birds. This is then juxtaposed by the last line, where it is implied (by extension) that each man has the capability of "unfolding" into God.