It Shows In Your Face: A Tribute to Russ Tyson
Growing up as a child in and around the Brisbane area in South East Queensland I often listened to the radio and one of my favourite and most popular announcers was Russ Tyson. When television was launched in 1959 he also became the successful host of a number of programs on ABC TV.
I never realised that Russ Tyson was also an accomplished writer and poet, until recently when a friend loaned me a book called "Russ Tyson's Philosophy Corner".
In fact, I am still currently reading this wonderful book which is packed full of stories, anocdotes, and poems expressing Russ's philosophy on life. The depth of this book is amazing, and although A.B. Banjo Paterson has always been my favourite poet, that mantle is now shared by none other than Russ Tyson.
I dedicate this article to him, and include a number of his poems herein. The first of these is It Shows In Your Face. I love this poem and it's message so much and wish that I had written it myself. That being the case I decided to write a part 2 myself. I hope it does the original poem and Russ Tyson justice.
Russ Tyson (1920-2014)
Russ Tyson was a renowned and long-serving radio presenter in Brisbane, Australia, starting as a cadet announcer in the late 1930s.
When World War II broke out he went on air in Borneo with the Australian Army’s radio station. After the war ended he returned to hosting the ABC breakfast program from 1948 to 1966 as well as the Hospital Hour.
He was also one of the first people to appear on Australian TV on it's launch night in November 1959, and hosted programs including Anything Goes and On Camera. He continued to work with ABC until he resigned in 1966, citing differences with management over changes to the breakfast radio program.
After leaving the ABC he went to commercial radio station 4KQ in Brisbane where he continued his long and successful career until he retired from broadcasting in 1976.
His famous voice had a magical quality of sincerity and integrity, and his devoted followers knew that the real life Tyson was exactly as he sounded, a sincere, good-living man.
Many of his fans and listeners were unaware, however, that Russ was also an accomplished writer and poet, and that he devoted a great deal of time working for many charities.
He published four books:
Russ Tyson's Philosophy Corner 1963
Russ Tyson's New Philosophy 1970
The Best of Russ Tyson 1973
Philosopher's Scrap Book 1986
It Shows In Your Face
by Russ Tyson
You don't have to tell how you live each day,
You don't have to say how you work or play;
A tried, true barometer serves in place -
However you live, it will show in your face.
The false, the deceit, that you bear in your heart,
Will not stay inside where it first got the start,
For sinew and blood are thin veils of lace -
What you wear in your heart, you wear in your face.
If your life is unselfish, if for others you live,
For not what you get, but how much you give;
If you live close to God in His infinite grace -
You don't have to tell it - it shows in your face.
It Shows In Your Face (2)
by John Hansen
Don't try and pretend to be something you're not,
Some people are "haves" and others "have nots";
You can't hide the truth, there's always a trace -
If you're wealthy or poor, it's etched in your face.
It's not how much money you have in the banks,
But how generous you are without seeking thanks.
If you are loved and content in your little space -
Your richness will shine, it will show in your face.
If you give others praise and credit where due,
They'll often reciprocate and return it to you.
Racism and prejudice in this world have no place -
If you love all God's people - it shows in your face.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.— Russ Tyson
The School of Life
If we wade in shallow pools
We cannot learn to swim;
The brilliant intellect unused
Will stagnate and grow dim.
We cannot reach the mountaintop
Without the gruelling climb;
Courage comes from danger faced ...
Lessons taught by time.
Judging others is a dangerous thing. Not so much because you might make a mistake about them, but because you may be revealing the truth about yourself.— Russ Tyson
Take a Walk Around Yourself
When you're criticising others, and are finding here and there
A fault or two to speak of, or a weakness you can tear,
When you're busy blaming someone, or accusing one of pelf -
It's time that you went out to take a walk around yourself.
There's a lot of human failures in the average of us all,
And lots of grave shortcomings in the short ones and the tall;
But when we think of evils men should lay upon the shelves,
It's time that we all went out to take a walk around ourselves.
Isn't it strange how we envy other people their luck, but congratulate ourselves on our enterprise.— Russ Tyson
The day that he was eighty-two,
Grandfather had a task to do:
A special job that could not wait,
Lest some tomorrow be too late.
Slow were his movements, but content
His heart, as to the task he bent
Of setting out new apple trees -
Six slender stalks. Upon old knees
He knelt to place young roots with care -
Whose fruiting he would never share.
Some day a child he'd never known
Would wander down the shaded row,
Some star-eyed girl, some lusty boy,
To share his apples - and his joy.
Old men who plant young apple trees -
The whole world leans on such as these!
The chains of habit are often too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.— Russ Tyson
A lion met a tiger as they drank beside a pool -
Said the tiger, "Tell me why you're always roaring like a fool?"
"It's not foolish," said the lion, with a twinkle in his eyes,
"They call me King of all the Beasts, because I advertise!"
A little rabbit heard him, and he ran home like a streak,
He thought he'd try the lion's plan - but his roar was just a squeak.
And a hungry fox who heard him, had breakfast in the woods ...
It never pays to advertise - UNLESS YOU'VE GOT THE GOODS!!
PINK ELEPHANT: Beast of bourbon.— Russ Tyson
* All poetry in this article (with the exception of "It Shows In Your Face (2)" by John Hansen) is from the book Russ Tyson's Philosophy Corner.