The Board of Governors is a song that was written for the Alley Theatre Premiere, in which Dr Henry Jekyll presents his experiment for the Governors of the hospital. Jekyll's opening soliloquy appears in the 1990 Highlights album as simply "Hospital Board".

It was later shortened during the Broadway run of the show to Jekyll's Plea, with Jekyll and Utterson's conversation moved to Pursue the Truth.

Differences between versions[edit | edit source]

In the original version at the Alley Theatre, Sir Danvers' verse is in the same key as that which precedes it, whilst in all subsequent versions it is higher. In addition, he denies Henry's proposal, whilst in every other version he abstains. Simon Stride also "swears you (Jekyll) will pay, and you'll pay all your life", whilst the later version removed the first part of this line.

In Jekyll's Plea, Sir Danvers and the Bishop's verses have several words changed, but the two are often interchangeable, for example the 2nd UK Tour used the original version, whilst removing Stride's "apology" at the end, as all subsequent versions had done.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

The Board of Governors of St. Jude's Hospital is now in session.
Sir Danvers Carew, KBE, Chairman.
His Grace, The Bishop of Basingstoke.
General Lord Glossop.
The Right Honorable Sir Archibald Proops, Q.C.
Lady Beaconsfield.
Lord Savage.
The Order of business will be conducted by the Secretary to the Board of Governors, Mr. Simon Stride.

Proposition No. 929 - Presented by Dr. Henry Jekyll.

Jekyll, you're all talk an' no result!...

Forever asking us to endorse empty promises!

What's all the mystery? Much ado about nothing, if you ask me...

You're the laughing stock of your profession and polite society! The mad scientist!

Order! Order!

Distinguished Governors,
I have glimpsed the future.
Seen miracles that stun the mind
And marvels only science can find
To shape tomorrow for mankind.
And I can show them to you
If you wish me to.

Friends, you're aware there are two sides to each of us
Good and evil, compassion and hate.
If we could extract all the evil from each of us
Think of the world that we could create!
A world without anger or violence or strife
Where man wouldn't kill anymore!
A world of compassion, where passion for life
Would banish the madness of war!

I'm close to finding the key to duality
Chemical Formulae which could and would
Alter the patterns of man's personality
Guiding him either to evil or good!
Weigh the potential, the great possibilities
Colleagues - dear friends, understand!
We have a chance to make history here in our hand!

Each of us is the embodiment of two distinct and opposing forces - Good and Evil - each fighting for supremacy inside us. If we could separate these two forces, we could control and ultimately eliminate all evil from mankind. My experiments with animals have led me to believe that the day is not far off when this separation will be possible. To achieve it, I must be allowed to try my formula on a living human being!

And what if you're right, Jekyll? And you do manage to separate Good from Evil - What happens to the evil?

There are doomed, broken souls in a thousand asylums
I defy you to say you don't care if you can!
In the name of compassion and medical science,
I can save many lives if you give me one man!

I tell you now - the Church will never sanction it!

Sacrilege! Lunacy! Blasphemy! Heresy!

You seem to be treading on dangerous ground.
In legal terms, I'd say, extremely unsound!

The whole thing's un-christian, barbaric and odd!
You're playing with fire when you start to play God!

The Bishop speaks for all of us, when he says you're playing God!
There's such a thing as ethics over which you ride rough-shod!
You're a Doctor, not a saviour,
Doctor Jekyll, for a start!
But I judge from your behaviour
You can't tell the two apart!

Dear Mr. Stride, I am simply a scientist.
I have a code to which I remain true!
I don't presume to the stature of moralist.
I leave pretension like that, Sir, to you!

Henry, I've always encouraged your enterprise
And I've been hopeful that you would succeed!
But in the face of these powerful arguments,
I see no choice but for you to concede!

I know my fate is yours to choose
But if they win, the world would lose
I am on the brink of great success!
I beg you, Governors, you must say "Yes!"

Doctor Jekyll, enough of this ranting, Sir!
This is a hospital, here to save lives!

Do you think we would let you play havoc
With all the high principles for which it strives?
Do you expect us to compromise all that we stand for
Indulging your dangerous games?
How many rules should we break for your dubious aims?

JEKYLL Can't you see? I am not playing games! Just give me the opportunity!

GENERAL GLOSSOP This whole thing's too bizarre!

SIR DANVERS Open up your eyes and see!

BISHOP OF BASINGSTOKE This man has gone too far!

JEKYLL Unless you listen to me...

STRIDE Doctor, please watch your tone! Dammit, man, can't you see? You're on your own!

JEKYLL Fools! You fools!


PROOPS Jekyll!

JEKYLL God damn ...


JEKYLL ... your rules!



JEKYLL Look at yourselves! Civilized men


JEKYLL Why can't you see?!


STRIDE Order! Order!

JEKYLL If I ever needed further justification for my experiments, gentlemen, You have just provided it!

Just look at what has happened here!
Mix anger with a touch of fear
The danger's all too crystal-clear
Just look at you!
Our darker side keeps breaking through
Observe it now - in me and you!
The evil that all men can do must be controlled!
I beg of you
I'll show you all it can be done!

Here is a chance to take charge of our fate
Deep down you must know that tomorrow's too late!
One rule of life we cannot rearrange
The only thing constant is change
The only thing change

STRIDE Distinguished colleagues, your verdict, please. All those is favour say "Aye" All those opposed, "Nay"

GOVERNORS Nay! Nay! Nay! Nay! Positively - Absolutely - Nay!

STRIDE Sir Danvers?


STRIDE By five votes to none - with one abstention Proposition 929 is rejected Thank you for your time, Dr. Jekyll

SIR DANVERS I am truly sorry, Henry.

JEKYLL All these precious years I've dedicated to this dream Now with a word they claim the power to deny me! Who are they to judge what I am doing? They know nothing of the endless possibilities I see!

It's ludicrous I'm bound by their decision. Seems vision is a word they've never heard! If it mattered less, I'd treat it with derision It's absurd! And yet the fact remains Those bastards hold the reins!

STRIDE I'm so sorry, Doctor Jekyll, what a really rotten shame! I so hope that what has happened won't destroy your precious name! Henry Jekyll, I despise you!

You have stolen the girl who should be my wife! But there'll come a day, not so far away When you'll not only pay You will pay all your life!

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.