Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she's not really ill, there's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
That's the Rolling Stones, 1966. The little yellow pill, mother's little helper? Valium, created three years earlier. It wasn't the first tranquilizer (Libirum hit the market in 1960), but it's still the most famous one.
The man responsible for Valium (and Librium, and Dalmane, and Mogadon, and Rohypnol, and Klonopin, and Arfonad) was Leo Sternbach, a Croatian-born Jew who escaped the Nazis to work for Hoffmann-La Roche. There, he started playing with benzodiazepines. After years of failure, he found that mixing it with a derivative of ammonia made mice sleepy. A whole industry was born, and has been going strong for half a century. Mostly for the better?
And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose
No more running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day
Well, yeah, there is that.